Kid Rock, 49, is not ready to close his popular bar Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse, which he opened in Oct. 2018, in Nashville, TN despite the city’s coronavirus concerns and plans to keep it open until there’s a “statewide mandate.” The singer’s business partner, Steve Smith, put out an official statement about the bar’s plans on Mar. 15 after Nashville Mayor John Cooper asked all bars in the area to close for an unspecified period of time to help stop the spread of the virus, which has infected over 181,700 people worldwide, including 39 confirmed cases in the state of Tennessee.
“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,” the statement read. “We are compassionate with those who have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus and all who are helping to manage the crisis as the entire world addresses the outbreak.”
The statement went on to explain that a patron of Nashville’s Tootsies Orchid Lounge thought the government was being extreme with their suggestion to close businesses. “[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,” the statement continued. “In response, Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Rippy’s, Honky Tonk Central, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse and The Diner will continue to remain open to serve the public until such statewide mandate is issued from the Governor of Tennessee.”
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
Downtown Nashville is undefeated. pic.twitter.com/BFIOzukFct
— Janna Abraham (@SportsPundette) March 15, 2020
Steve’s statement comes after Nashville made headlines for a crowded scene inside one of its downtown bars on the night of Mar. 14. A video that is now viral, showed a large group of people standing around, dancing, and enjoying live music despite the coronavirus shutting many establishments in other cities down. Some popular cities such as Los Angeles and New York have taken big measures to avoid large crowds, such as issuing mandatory closings of bars, dine-in restaurants, and movie theaters.
Kid Rock has yet to comment on his bar’s status on social media but his latest Instagram post shared his concern for the people of Tennessee after an intense tornado touched down in the city on Mar. 3, destroying many businesses and homes. “Whatever needs to be done to help Tennessee and the people she holds hit by last nights devastating storm, count me in. God Bless Nashville,” he wrote alongside a photo of the aftermath on the same day of the disaster.