NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Most businesses in Nashville will have to close up early starting Friday night. A new order is now in effect in Davidson County states that all businesses that serve alcohol must close at 10 p.m.
The new order impacts places like Mellow Mushroom and Rippy’s Honky Tonk on lower Broadway, spots that are usually open until 2 a.m.
“Well yeah, I’m not happy. This pandemic the only thing it’s affecting in Nashville is downtown Nashville and all the bars. They let all of the other surrounding counties operate,” said Steve Smith, owner of several businesses downtown.
Smith, who has already closed most all of his establishments except The Diner and Rippy’s said there needs to be consistency across the state with the orders, pointing to surrounding counties that are allowed to stay open while restaurants and bars in Nashville are forced to close.
“I can go to Mt. Juliet and party, I can go to Franklin and party, and come right back to Nashville,” he said.
Mayor John Cooper has said downtown Nashville is a COVID hot spot. He first closed down bars on July 3, but videos of crowds congregating downtown many without masks have caused an uproar across the country.
Smith said the crowds outside of his bar are from limited capacities inside, due to the orders. He said the latest order will cost him around $10,000 to $12,000 a day.
“It’s killed us already. It’s murdered us, it’s horrible. My employees don’t have no money, they are all out of work, it’s horrible,” said Smith.
Some tourists downtown said they are leaving the city early due to the new order.
“If everything was opened, truth be told we would be here one more day. If everything was open for sure, for sure,” said Jennifer Kirkland, who was visiting for her birthday from Detroit.
She said it’s not the birthday celebration they were hoping for.
“I was so looking forward to it and then we get here and everything is closed. No dancing, no standing at the bar anymore, no, you know it’s not Nashville. It’s sad it’s not Nashville,” she explained.
The revised public health order extends through the end of the month.