Country artist Maren Morris is using her platform to support The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club in East Nashville, the owner operator bar.
“Businesses our size that are kind of clinging to life as is are going to drown and we are going to go out of business for good and no one wants to see that,” Owner Andrew Cook told News 2.
While his bar sits dark, he says others are taking advantage of loopholes to stay open.
“They are not doing 50 percent of food sales, not even remotely close to it. They are just exploiting that fact on paper and the city is afraid of litigation from them, so they are not doing anything to them,” stated Cook.
Maren Morris pointed to Broadway bars, saying ‘they are cannibalizing our Nashville small businesses who have been following health orders since day 1.’ She says it’s heartbreaking and that she will be donating to The Fox.
“Being a musician I’ve shared many a stage with her and she’s a great person and she uses her platform to speak up for what’s right in a number of different areas and it was really cool to see her speaking out on our behalf to. She’s been really supportive of us she’s been in here a bunch so we are thankful for that,” Cook explained.
He says every little bit helps as they don’t have the money to close down for a few hours, a few days or much less a few months like some establishments that have a big names and big pockets.
“I think it’s a lot easier for those bigger bars to turn a blind eye to it because a lot of bars our size, we are owner operators. Those guys aren’t in there sweeping the floor or stocking the bar or anything they are able to just kind of say what’s the situation now and just kind of write it off.”
The owners said it’s disheartening that the city has put a blanket policy in place when all establishments are far from the same and even more so that those policies aren’t being enforced.
“The bars our size are paying the price for it and it’s just really unfair.”
The owners have joined a coalition in hopes their voices are heard asking for fairness across the board regardless of what kind of license your business may hold.
“I think one thing we would like to see if the ability to apply for exemptions or make a case and say hey look at how we are doing things,” adding that he believes they can open safely.
A number of measures have already been put in place at The Fox, including glass barriers in between tables.
If the bar was to open at half capacity, only about 20 people could come inside, a fraction of the number other establishments are allowing inside amid the pandemic.