NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville entered Phase Two of the city’s re-opening plan Monday and many downtown businesses and restaurants are welcoming patrons with new guidelines.
At The Bobby Hotel on Fourth Avenue North, they never closed their doors to guests during the pandemic, but the restaurant did. Its café re-opened for dine-in service Monday but with many changes now in place.
Tables are distanced six feet a part, the crew are wearing masks and there is sanitizer on every table. The Bobby is a popular spot for coffee, business lunches and weekend brunch as the hotel has four restaurants and bars on site — but everything will re-open in phases since they don’t have enough business yet to bring every employee back.
Management said the hotel is comfortable opening the café first because of its outdoor space.
“We have to bring people back slowly and safely, it’s a different atmosphere when you are getting screened when you arrive to work your temperature, you are wearing a mask. We have always washed hands we have always cleaned tables no we’re just doing it more, showing guests more that’s the new norm,” explained General Manager Jared Prichard.
The hotel not only lost business by closing down their restaurants — but missed out on the typical amount of guests they host during a usually very busy time of year in Nashville.
The hotel is normally at 80% occupancy during April and May, though this weekend the hotel was at 30%. A lot of guests have been from Brentwood, Franklin or Hendersonville who wanted a “staycation” while others were people passing through Nashville on a road trip.
The average stay is usually three nights — but that’s changed to two as the city continues reopening.
The Bobby is optimistic business will start to turn around.
“The guests traveling to the beach aren’t flying, they are traveling through, so again we are focused on that customer, the drive market, the guests that might have come here for CMA Fest, can still come here, there is going to be live music by today, you can have 2 performers on stage at a time without a dance floor as long as there is live music in the city and that increases and increases, weekends are still going to be the bread and butter for leisure travel,” said Prichard.
To keep guests safe, check in and out is contactless and done over the phone or email. Also, to help employees with social distancing, rooms aren’t cleaned until guests check out.
The Bobby’s rooftop will be the next space to open up by next week.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.