Coronavirus shutdowns: Kid Rock's Nashville bar closes after all

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N' Roll Steakhouse in Nashville has closed after all.

The rock star’s business partner Steve Smith initially refused to comply with the city’s mandate that it close to help protect public health amid the coronavirus outbreak. However, on Monday night, the business announced it would be closing.

(Screenshot: Facebook)

It said the temporary closure was “in cooperation with the Mayor’s office ... to help protect public health” — and it also pertained to some of Smith’s other businesses in the city. The statement made sure to note they were “working with local officials to minimize the hardship this puts on our over 800 staff members and 300+ musicians.”

Initially, Smith refused Mayor John Cooper’s request that bars close to combat COVID-19, calling it “unconstitutional” and saying it was “targeting a select group of businesses.” Smith said he wouldn’t be shuttering his businesses “unless there's a statewide mandate that directs all bars and restaurants to be closed.”

In the days prior to this public disagreement, Smith had presented a check to the mayor on behalf of his businesses toward tornado rescue efforts.

Rock’s bar and eatery is five floors with has six bars and four stages. It can accommodate about 2,000 people, according to the website. The doors opened in 2018, but it hasn’t been without drama. (He shuttered a Detroit restaurant last year amid controversy.)

Rock (real name: Robert James Richie) has yet to publicly weigh in — or respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

Tennessee has had 52 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, according to the state’s department of health.


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