Kid Rock’s Nashville Honky-Tonk Joins Lawsuit Against City, State Over COVID-19 Restrictions
Kid Rock's honky-tonk in Nashville has joined a lawsuit that seeks financial compensation from both the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee over the stay-at-home orders associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Nashville's WKRN reports that Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk & Rock 'n' Roll Steakhouse and another Lower Broadway venue, Honky Tonk Central, have joined in a lawsuit by the Local Spot and its owner, Geoffrey Reid, filed in May in United States District Court. The suit seeks financial compensation from the city and state for revenue lost during the coronavirus shutdown, alleging that those businesses have been unfairly targeted during the shutdown as compared to protestors who took part in recent social demonstrations in Nashville.
According to WKRN, the suit names Gov. Bill Lee, Mayor John Cooper, Director of the Metro Public Health Department Michael Caldwell, Metro’s Beer Permit Board and Kia Jarmon, a member of the Beer Permit Board, as defendants. The filing alleges that Director Caldwell and Mayor Cooper have specifically targeted those businesses for unfair treatment, and that Jarmon has subjected them to unequal treatment.
The news comes after Nashville's Tennessean newspaper reported on June 18 that four Nashville bars — including Rock's establishment, Moxy Nashville Downtown, Broadway Brewhouse and Nudie's Honky Tonk — got their beer permits suspended for violating Phase 2 restrictions for COVID-19 re-opening. Each establishment was seen serving customers at the bar, in violation of the rules for gradual re-opening.
Both Rock's venue and Honky Tonk Central were among 13 businesses in Nashville that have been cited recently for not complying with public health orders, according to the Tennessean.
The legal filing also seeks to place Davidson County, of which Nashville is a part, under the jurisdiction of Gov. Lee’s Tennessee Pledge instead of Mayor Cooper’s re-opening plan.
Timothy Stephen Smith serves as the managing partner for both Rock's bar and Honky Tonk Central, and his lawyer, Bryan Lewis, tells WKRN that he intends to file a temporary restraining order barring the continued enforcement of Metro’s orders against his clients.
“We believe we would receive fair treatment under Gov. Lee’s phases and there wouldn’t be this selective type prosecution that my client has endured for the past couple of weeks.” Lewis states.
He also intends to file a restraining order against three pending citations against Rock’s venue and Honky Tonk Central. Lewis claims he has "very very strong proof" that Smith and the venues have been "selectively prosecuted," citing four affidavits.
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