Tootsie’s reopens as restaurant, more customers now allowed inside during COVID-19 restrictions

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A loophole in Mayor Cooper’s latest COVID-19 guidelines will now allow more customers inside Tootsie’s.

“We knew some things were reopening and this is one of the stops that was on our list. We’re looking forward to checking it out,” said tourist Pam Hudgins.

On Wednesday, the “world-famous” lavender lounge at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway reopened as a restaurant. A staff member told News 2 when customers belly up to the bar, they can now order steak and pork chops.

“I think it’s great that they’re going to add food to their menu,” said Nashville native Carie Brueckner.

Nashville’s modified Phase Two guidelines that went into effect Monday say bars can only operate with twenty-five customers inside at a time, but restaurants can operate at 50% capacity.

Attorney Bryan Lewis represents Tootsie’s owner, Steve Smith, who also owns several other Broadway bars.

Lewis sent News 2 the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“They have obtained a restaurant license from the state and will be obeying all laws and regulations for the service of food and alcohol, as well as all local health orders. We will set an example on how to safely operate.”

Bryan Lewis

“The employees are wearing masks, there’s hand sanitizer, everyone’s doing the right thing,” said tourist Troy Findlay.

News 2 reached out to Smith for further comment about what else customers can expect on the new Tootsie’s menu but did not receive a reply. Under the city’s current COVID-19 guidelines, all bars and restaurants must close by 10:30 p.m.

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