Attorney explains bar owners request for restraining order


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — City and state officials have one day to respond to a legal motion requesting a restraining order against them. 

“What we’re asking is that the limited-service restaurants, that is the bar that sells less than 50 percent food be treated the same as full-service restaurants here in Nashville,” co-counsel for plaintiffs Bryan Lewis said. “We’re alleging that equal protection rights are being violated by not being allowed to be open.” 

Some of the bars bringing this motion include the Local Spot, Harry O’s Steakhouse, Kid Rock’s Big Honkytonk, Honkytonk Central. 

The order requests Metro officials not be allowed to enter their businesses and shut them down, or prosecute against citations two those bars have already received.  

Nashville Mayor John Cooper said in his Tuesday news briefing he’s not targeting these bars by returning to modified phase 2 protocols, which closes bars for two weeks, while reducing restaurant capacity. 

“Other places have responded to the challenge similarly,” Mayor Cooper said. “Colorado has closed restaurants, bars, and other large gathering places for 30 days, following the lead of Denver. Florida closed bars statewide. 

He adds the average daily COVID numbers in Nashville have nearly doubled in the last two weeks, with an average of 264 new cases each day.  

Lewis said his clients are willing to follow restrictions, but they want the same rights as all other restaurants.  

“They can have patrons come in, operate at 50% capacity, they can have people sit at tables where there’s proper social distancing and serve both alcohol and food and have entertainment if they want to,” Lewis said.  

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