Business publicly defies mask mandate in Davidson County, using choice words on signage

Local News

DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Inside Lewis Country Store you won’t find employees wearing masks. In fact, signs outside make it clear they have no problem defying the order.

A large, bright sign on Ashland City Highway leaves no room for interpretations. The words play off the classic children’s rhyming poem “Roses Are Red,” calling attention to Mayor John Cooper essentially stating they won’t be wearing a mask.

Customers we spoke to support it.

“Yeah a little bold not the popular opinion I guess, but I guess the popular opinion out here ya know,” Dusty Mendenhall who is a regular at the country store and restaurant told News 2.

The store, just a couple of miles from the Cheatham County line sits in Davidson County where there is an order mandating masks.

“You know he has a right to express his opinion. The reality is right now that the virus is growing apparently, larger numbers are being infected right now everyone needs to protect themselves as much as possible but for those that feel like that they choose not to, it’s their right,” said customer Bruce Raley.

The owner of the store, Brad Lewis also posting signage on the store’s front door reading “If you are scared stay at home! If you are afraid to be within 6 feet of another person please do not enter.”

The signage didn’t seem to stop customers, even mask supporters like Raley.

“No social distancing is more important to me than actually the mask itself. If you try to stay at a social distance away from people then I feel like I’m pretty much protected. He’s a local business owner, he has every right I believe to put that sign up and to make that decision for himself,” said Raley.

Lewis told News 2, “Rest assured people like me are willing to fight until our last breath and bullet to defend the constitution of this last frontier of freedom left on the planet we call the United States of America.”

His wife tells News 2 that employees do have masks and even face shields behind the cash register counter, but they let them choose whether to wear them or not.

The Metro Public Health Department said they did receive a complaint about the store and let them know that employees are required to wear masks. A business that doesn’t follow the order can be cited and appear in court, where a judge decides the fine.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST for every county other than Davidson. Information for Davidson comes from the Metro Public Health Department.)

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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