The US star, who owns Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk & Rock & Roll Steakhouse, is among several bar owners who are refusing to listen to the mayor’s orders.
In his memorandum on Sunday, Mayor John Cooper asked “bars on Lower Broadway and throughout Davidson county” to close their businesses until further notice.
But restauranteur Steve Smith, who co-owns the bar and restaurant with Kid Rock, is reportedly defying to listen to Cooper’s orders.
According to TMZ , Smith said in a statement: “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 to 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.”
#UPDATE: Steve Smith, the owner of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Rippy’s, Honky Tonk Central, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Steakhouse & The Diner, responds to @JohnCooper4Nash’s call for Broadway bars to close amid #COVID19 concerns. @WKRN pic.twitter.com/wpYpy6d19N
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) March 15, 2020
He added: “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.”
It comes as coronavirus continues to spread across the US, with New York mayor Bill de Blasio issuing an executive order to close all movie theaters, concert venues, nightclubs and small theatres.
Mayor de Blasio confirmed on Sunday that the executive order will come into force on today (March 17) and described the disease as an “unprecedented threat”.