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Kid Rock’s Nashville bar has permit suspended for ignoring social distancing rules

Before becoming a music star, Kid Rock picked apples on his family's Romeo, Mich., orchard, worked at a car wash and was a janitor at a recording studio. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE – Kid Rock’s bar in Nashville has been hit with a permit suspension by the state for ignoring social distancing rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Metropolitan Beer Permit Board in Tennessee voted to issue a five-day permit suspension to Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk & Steakhouse and three other bars in downtown Nashville for ignoring distancing guidelines, the Nashville Tennessean reports.

Kid Rock’s bar had previously been fined after a complaint was filed against the establishment earlier this month, along with 14 other establishments.

Photos circulating social media last week showed the bar seemingly packed with patrons unable to comply with social distancing guidelines and sitting at the bar itself, which is currently banned in the county.

“They were in violation of two points of the order that states bar areas must remain closed to the public,” said inspector Melvin Brown. “No interaction with the public is allowed, and alcohol can only be served at tables and booths.”

COVID Exit Strategy, as of June 19, has the state of Tennessee listed as “trending poorly,” with cases continuing to increase in the state.

The owner of Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk & Steakhouse has been critical of the state’s handling of COVID-19.

“The Nashville government is, like, communist. They’ve got us behind a Berlin Wall,” Smith told The Tennessean on Tuesday. “We met with Mayor Cooper and the doctors weeks ago and explained how having bar service is safer than table service. They’re doing everything they can to put us out of business. The state of Tennessee is already in Phase 4 and they’re talking about holding us in Phase 2. It’s against our constitutional rights.”

In Detroit, Olympia Development of Michigan announced in December 2019 that it wouldn’t extending the lease for Kid Rock’s bar at Little Caesars Arena, which expired in April.

Most states have had some restrictions in place for bars and restaurants. In Michigan, establishments were able to reopen last Monday, but only at 50 percent capacity.


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