Downtown Nashville business owners devastated and confused about closing

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Downtown business owners are frustrated, given less than 24-hour notice they will have to shut down again this holiday weekend.

It’s a reopening reversal as Nashville goes back to a modified version of Mayor Cooper’s phase 2 road to reopening plan, starting July 3.

Some downtown business owners told News 2 that they aren’t impacted by the order as they fall into the restaurant category, while others are devastated to close for at least two weeks.

“Our struggle is real. I mean we were closed 3 1/2 months,” Jamie Grissom who owns Benchmark Nashville Bar and Grill told News 2.

The sports bar waited to reopen following COVID-19 until just last week and now they are forced to close again.

“We are devastated. I mean devastated for our team, devastated for customers, tourists that are in town, it’s really tough. And even suppliers, I mean, they are counting on us to give them business, of course, and it’s hitting them as well,” explained Grissom.

With less than a 24 hours notice, Grissom is left scrambling to make adjustments.

“Basically 24 hours and we are shut down. I mean it’s just, it’s really devastating,” said Grissom.

Grissom is now spending his day canceling shifts and orders.

“I just bought a lot of perishables; lettuce, tomatoes, produce, and 14 days it’s not going to make it so I’ve got to figure out what we are going to do with that. I just canceled a beer order because they were going to roll it in and I had to cancel it,” said Grissom.

It’s frustrating he said, as he is now fighting to make it to the other side of the pandemic, with concerns many of his neighbors won’t.

“I think it’s going to be devastating for a lot of businesses and I don’t think many will make it back.”

The Mayor’s decision falls on a holiday weekend, which is typically a profitable weekend for downtown businesses.

“July 4th is always one of the major weekends down here.”

The Mayor’s order regarding the shutdown applies to “limited-service restaurants.” That is defined in part as an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages and food and has a seating capacity of at least 40 patrons, with a majority of revenue being derived from the sale of alcoholic beverages.

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