City Winery now requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID test for indoor dining, performances

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread across Tennessee, private businesses in Nashville are adding extra COVID precautions.

City Winery in downtown Nashville is now requiring a vaccine card or a negative COVID test result for entry into their indoor dining or performance area.

“This has nothing to do with politics or philosophy,” said Michael Dorf, owner of City Winery. “We decided to go extra cautious and safe because the Delta variant is extremely contagious…and we don’t want to close again. It’s as simple as that.”

Dorf says the winery took a major hit during 2020. Their doors were closed most of the year.

“[It was] very difficult floating through it,” said Dorf. “We’re not only a restaurant that has all the dining challenges of the pandemic, but as a gathering place for people to sit and listen to music, we were one of the first to close completely and one of the last to reopen.”

The winery is now requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from customers who want to dine inside the restaurant or attend indoor performances. You can still eat on the patio or rooftop without documentation.

“If you have a vax card great. If you have a photo of the card, great. If you connect to a digital pass, fantastic. If the dog ate the vaccine card and you need to get a doctor’s letter, that’s okay too,” Dorf explained.

The winery has certain stipulations for the COVID results they will accept:

  • A PCR test must have been taken within 72 hours of visiting the winery.
  • A rapid test can be taken within 24 hours of visiting the winery.
  • If you are unable to get tested before visiting and are not vaccinated, you can get a rapid test on-site at the winery for a cost of $15.

“We actually can do it at the front door, and it’s an 8-minute test,” said Dorf.

The policy went into effect on August 4. While the winery has received much support, they have also received some canceled reservations or requests for refunds.

“I find it sad when some people send us really nasty notes because they don’t like this policy,” said Dorf. “I understand they don’t like the policy, but don’t make threats. Don’t do stuff that is hostile. Let’s hope this is temporary.”

For now, there is no official timeline for the policy. Dorf says when the virus goes away, so will their stipulation.

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