In order to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many states are issuing emergency measures to protect public health and encourage social distancing. On Monday, states like California, Illinois, Washington, and Massachusetts issued that all bars and dine-in restaurants will be closed for a period of time in order to discourage the congregation of large groups of people. Nashville’s mayor John Cooper followed suit by ordering downtown bars to close their doors. However, Kid Rock‘s restaurant, Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse, is ignoring the mayor’s mandate.
Kid Rock’s co-owner Steve Smith responded to the Nashville mayor’s call to close all restaurants and bars, refusing to cooperate with the mandate: “We appreciate the efforts of Mayor Cooper to combat the COVID-19 virus, but unless there’s a statewide mandate that directs all bars and restaurants to be closed, the request made by Mayor Cooper is unconstitutional as he is targeting a select group of businesses.”
Smith added, “However, a Tootsie’s patron as immediate as last night, mentioned having lived through the polio epidemic and didn’t recall such extreme measures being handed down in history.”
JUST IN: Several bars on Lower Broadway, including popular Tootsies, Honky Tonk Central, Kid Rock’s bar, will remain OPEN after Nashville mayor asked them to close over #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/LfGJ1ZfzoU
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) March 15, 2020
The statement was issued in response to the Metro Board of Health’s emergency plan that orders the shutting down of all bars in Davidson County, including downtown honky-tonks, as well as limiting restaurant capacity by 50 percent. “All this is to get us back to normal as soon as possible,” Mayor Cooper said.
Read more of Uproxx’s coverage on the coronavirus here.