Published Mar 16, 2020Skid rocker Kid Rock and his Nashville restaurant the Big Ass Honky Tonk & Rock 'n' Roll Steakhouse are refusing to bow down to growing pandemic fears — or social distancing recommendations — in the wake of the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak.
As TMZ reports, America's least favourite MAGA cheerleader and his restaurateur partner Steve Smith have decided to remain open for business in Nashville's Lower Broadway area despite strict closure recommendations from the city's mayor, John Cooper.
UPDATE (3/17, 11:20 a.m. EDT): Smith has reportedly backed down under pressure from the Nashville public, closing both the Honky Tonk Steakhouse, as well as a number of other businesses he owns on Broadway.
Smith's representatives have issued the following statement:
In cooperation with the Mayor's office, Tootsie's, Honky Tonk Central and Kid Rock's Honky Tonk have closed to help protect public health. Rippy's and The Diner will operate under the guidelines set forth for restaurants and take precautions to keep our staff and patrons safe. We hope to continue working with local officials to minimize the hardship this puts on our over 800 staff members and 300+ musicians.
Smith has now spoken publicly on the issue in the following statement, calling the mayor's request "unconstitutional":
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.
We are compassionate with those who have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus and all who are helping manage the crisis as the entire world addresses the outbreak. 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.
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.
Kid Rock has yet to speak publicly on the issue, but as history shows, he's likely preparing his next rant this very moment.