Nashville’s honky-tonky tourist hive at Lower Broadway went largely dark Sunday night, following Metro Board of Health’s public health emergency declaration and mayor John Cooper’s request for all Davidson County bars to shutter.
Cooper also imposed new restrictions for bars and restaurants. Restaurants (public facilities where food sales make up over 50% of revenue) must limit their regular maximum seating to under 50% capacity, capped at 100 individuals. No bar standing is allowed.
Mayor Cooper’s request for all bars in Davidson County to close (specifically naming Lower Broadway) was quickly fought by restaurateur, Steve Smith, who released the following statement pushing back and refusing to close. Smith co-owns Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse, and owns Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Rippy’s, Honky Tonk Central, and The Diner.
UPDATE: “In cooperation with the Mayor’s office, Tootsie’s, Honky Tonk Central and Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk have closed to help protect public health. Rippy’s and The Diner will operate under the guidelines set forth for restaurants and take precautions to keep our staff and patrons safe. We hope to continue working with local officials to minimize the hardship this puts on our over 800 staff members and 300+ musicians. Stay tuned to our social pages for any updates.” — Facebook
Davidson County has 25 confirmed cases as of 4 p.m., Monday, March 16. Social distancing is still highly encouraged at this time.