NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Even a mask can’t hide the smiles and warm welcome given freely by the team at Chicken Guy!

“Nashville is just one of the most amazing cities we have in the country. You can’t say Nashville and not smile,” says Food Network personality and chef Guy Fieri.

The restaurant, a joint venture between Fieri and restaurateur Robert Earl, is now open on the corner of 2nd Avenue North and Commerce Street in Downtown Nashville. The flagship location was under construction in 2020 when the Christmas Day bombing rocked the area.

“The tragedy in itself is so difficult, but that’s not going to hold anybody back,” says Fieri.

In fact, he says it further motivated the team to push through committing to a location that was ravaged.

“We said, ‘We can do this.’ We could be delayed, or we can step forward and start pushing and trying to get some energy and getting some traffic, you know, people walking through there again.”

And it’s worked. Fieri fans, first attracted by his name and original menu, typically continue their stroll along 2nd Avenue.

“We make 20 scratch-made sauces,” Fieri explains, “Our chicken is antibiotic free, never frozen, hand dredged, pressure fried, the whole thing. But, we love our milkshakes.”

And now as new plans for the area are revealed, Fieri says his true admiration is for all those who worked to save people the day of the bombing and city leaders who’ve pushed to rebuild.

“I can’t comprehend the magnitude of what it’s taken to get all these pieces back together,” Fieri says, “but it’s happened.”