NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Some businesses in Nashville can begin reopening Monday, as the Mayor announced phase one of the opening plan will go into effect.
At Tootsies, employees are working to get everything in place for the reopening, but it will look very different inside.
“We are really excited, the clock is ticking now you know,” owner Steve Smith told News 2.
Masks, gloves, sanitizing kiosks, and deep cleaning are all checked off the list for Smith’s spots which include Tootsies, Kid Rock’s, Rippy’s, Honky Tonk Central, and The Diner.
“It’s sort of chaos right now,” he explained.
A welcomed chaos as they check more items off of the list like making schedules for their hundreds of employees.
“We are going to let them all work.”
Inside, they are removing bar stools and setting up the spacing guidelines for phase one.
“No live entertainment. (You) won’t be able to sit at the bar, but be able to sit at chairs and tables in more of a restaurant atmosphere. We will have 6 people come in and they will be able to sit together at one table. We will have table and chairs 6 feet apart in between all the tables,” said Smith.
While he doesn’t expect downtown to be busy, he said they are ordering food and will likely expand their menus.
“We have to have produce, bread, all the things of that nature are going to have to be brought in probably this week, probably Friday if we can start getting stuff delivered. We are going to have to sell some food, so going to have a huge menu might even have to add some stuff to some of the places.”
Although lower Broad is mostly a tourist destination, Smith says it’s time for folks to get back to work and living.
“People don’t have to come out, they can stay home. If they are sick they need to stay home, but if you are well and you are healthy, let’s get back to living. We’ve been dying long enough, let’s get back to living,” said Smith.
While bar owners like Smith say Monday can’t come soon enough, others tell News 2 that they will not be opening during phase one of the plan.
“I’m not opening up my place without musicians,” stated Layla Vartanian of Layla’s Honky Tonk.
After all, she said what’s a honky tonk without live music.
“My place is nothing, Broadway is nothing without music, so until we get music in the bars I’m not opening,” said Vartanian.
Other spots like Acme Feed and Seed don’t plan to open until capacity can be at 100 percent. It’s not news Smith likes to hear.
“I hate that, I wish they would all come on and get back open,” he said.
While the 14 day meter between phases will begin running Monday, bars serving food can’t return to full capacity until phase three of the plan.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.