French’s boot store reopens one month after Christmas Day bombing

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – We all know the lyrics “these boots are made for walking,” and on Saturday customers finally walked through the doors again of French’s Shoes and Boots.

Manager Rachel Gray says Saturday was the first day they’d been back in business since the Christmas Day bombing on 2nd Avenue.

“It feels great. I’m just waiting for the city to come back to life,” Gray said. “We had some front windows busted out. The doors blew open. Just more glass and front structural damage than anything.”

Luckily, the force didn’t damage any merchandise, but between the COVID-19 pandemic and a full month with no sales, 2020 was tough for business.

“It was just devastating, just depressing. We’ve had to consolidate up to one floor because we don’t have as much foot traffic coming through as we used to,” Gray said.

But Saturday afternoon customers still found their way inside French’s after gazing at the destruction just down the street, still visible a month after the explosion.

“They’re already hurting and struggling and now you have the bombing. It just put a damper on the whole situation, but it’s small business America saying ‘we’re going to make it happen, we’re going to make it happen,'” customer Robert Lutz said.

French’s has got a long way to go, and the city has a lot to rebuild, but Gray says she’s not giving up on 2021.

“The whole year of 2020 was very rough on us. It dropped us down way back, but we’re going to pull right back out of it,” Gray said.

The City of Nashville has also launched a citizen’s advisory board for input on how people would like to see 2nd Avenue rebuilt. For more information, click here.

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