Kid Rock’s Nashville Bar Refuses to Close During Wuhan Flu Upheaval, Owner Declares Mayor’s Mandate Unconstitutional
The owner of Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse in Nashville recently declared that he is refusing to follow Mayor John Cooper’s plan to close all bars in the city’s tourist-heavy Lower Broadway during the Wuhan flu pandemic. Following the publication of a video of a packed bar quickly going viral, the Metro Board of Health greenlight a plan to shut down all bars in Davidson County, including Kid Rock’s bar in downtown Nashville.
The Tennessee Department of Health reported 39 cases of the Wuhan flu in Tennessee with 17 coming from Davidson County alone.
Popculture.com reported that Steve Smith, the owner of the bar in Kid Rock’s name, as well as The Diner and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, said he will not comply with the rule until a statewide mandate is enacted. Smith described the action as “unconstitutional.”
“Unless there’s a statewide mandate that directs all bars and restaurants to be closed, the request made by Mayor Cooper is unconstitutional as he is targeting a select group of businesses,” Smith said in a statement. “We are compassionate with those who have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus and all who are helping manage the crisis as the entire world addresses the outbreak. However, a Tootsie’s patron as immediate as last night, mentioned having lived through the polio epidemic and didn’t recall such extreme measures being handed down in history.”
Cooper’s plan also established new limits on restaurant capacity, limiting seating to less than 50 percent capacity and placing limits on total occupancy to 100 people. Furthermore, bar service at restaurants was limited to 50 percent capacity with no standing permitted. The Metro Board of Health held an emergency meeting on Sunday afternoon to approve the plan, according to a report from The Tennessean.
These new decisions to restrict restaurant activity came in response to a Twitter user sharing a video of a packed bar in Lower Broadway on Saturday night, even when people were previously advised to self-quarantine due to the Wuhan flu. With over 3 million views, the video immediately went viral.
Celebrities quickly called out this video.
“While the rest of us are trying to be responsible in our homes and get this s— over with, THIS?!” country singer Maren Morris Tweeted. “Broadway, you aren’t a hero for staying open.”
As of now, there are more than 3,400 total cases of the Wuhan flu confirmed in the U.S. and 63 recorded deaths.