Nashville bar owner shut down by city: ‘Health Department has been given too much authority’


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The owners of a biker bar in Old Hickory forced to close over the weekend by the Metro Public Health Department for violating an emergency health order say they believe they are being singled out.

Gary and Becca McIntosh opened Full Throttle Bar and Grill on Swinging Bridge Road in October of last year. The two said they closed in mid-March, at the start of the pandemic, and reopened on Memorial Day when the city of Nashville entered Phase Two.

The Metro Public Health Department said it was alerted that Full Throttle Bar and Grill, described as “a Limited Service Restaurant,” had violated Amendment 1 of Emergency Health Order 9, which explains establishments with a “limited license” must remain closed for dine-in service through the end of the month.

Officials with the health department told the McIntoshs Friday that they would need to close their establishment.

“They came out and said, ‘you’re going to close down’ and I told him that I wasn’t,” Gary McIntosh explained. “They kept asking me all these questions and I told them, I said, ‘I already explained that you one time, I’m not shutting down, you’re violating my constitutional rights as a human being to be able to support myself and work.’ They kept on arguing with me.”

As Full Throttle Bar and Grill remained open for dine-in service, health officials with the Metro Public Health Department petitioned a judge for a closure order, which was served Sunday.

“I think this is illegal what they’re doing. The Health Department has been given too much authority,” Gary McIntosh said.

He added, “they come up telling me because I have a Limited License. To me, all that is is a word… corona doesn’t know whether your license is limited, full or partial, if you’re in a nightclub or whatever, man. I’m doing the same thing everybody else is and everybody else around me has the same license.”

The McIntoshs will appear in court Wednesday on the issue. They said they plan to fight the closure and make a case for why they should remain open.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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