NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Dozens of downtown Nashville employees protested the cities extended ‘Safer at Home’ order outside of the courthouse Wednesday.

“Open it up, open it up,” chanted the group in the brief protest. 

The cries came mostly from employees of downtown businesses; many musicians, bartenders, and servers.

“Obviously we are unable to go to work to make a living to support ourselves, support our families. I have musicians who work for us that haven’t seen a dime since this started. It’s tough on everybody,” the manager of Honky Tonk Central that wanted to go by Duncan Lemp told News 2.

Many expressed concerns of surrounding counties opening for business, while Nashville stays closed. It’s a point that business owner Steve Smith has been vocal about from the beginning. 

“I just wish Nashville could have moved right along with rest of the state of Tennessee,” said Smith.

The group held signs that read, “Let the Music Play,” “It’s time to reopen,” “No music. No city.,” and “Starving Artist.”

“Let’s open the city back up, you know people are starving to death. We have to get the city opened back up. Let’s let every one of these folks get back to work,” demanded Metro Council Member Steve Glover.

He added that the government doesn’t need to be interfere.

“I don’t want any family to lose a family member to this, we already know it can be devastating, there’s a lot of things that can be devastating. Here’s what else that’s devastating, our small businesses are going bankrupt in Nashville, Tennessee right now, because we are not looking at the science of the economy,” said Glover.

He said the decision to open or visit a business needs to remain up to the people.

“American business understands how to be responsible and how to take care of their patrons the people who will visit them they will make the decision if they want to walk in that piece of business or they don’t.”

Smith who owns several downtown honky-tonks, including Tootsies, said they are ready to open and will do so responsibly.

“Well it won’t be crowded in Tootsies, it won’t be crowded anywhere in phase one. You know, we are all responsible people, we are business people. We know what to do, we know how to act, we know exactly how to keep distancing. We may not have known this 90 days ago, but the whole world knows it now and we know how to respect each other’s space,” said Smith.

He said they’re upset so many other counties in the state are allowed to open their businesses, but Nashville cannot.

The protestors told News 2 that they plan to be back outside the courthouse again Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

Mayor Cooper said he will consult with medical professionals over the next day or two to determine if the metrics are good enough to remove the ‘safer at home’ order and move into phase one of reopening.