Business looks different for suburb bars as they ring in 2021

Suburban bars prepare to ring in 2021 amid COVID-19
Posted at 10:07 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 23:21:41-05

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — This year, New Year's Eve at Sportsman Grille in Brentwood looked a little different than last year. "Usually it is a giant rush to eat dinner early," said Sportsman's general manager, Brad Hall.

But based on the early afternoon turn out, he said he was unsure of what the evening would hold. "Looks like a lot of to-go orders and probably just a regular night," he said.

Hall said the holiday typically means big business, drawing in large crowds of suburban customers. "It's usually when we hit our stride, with the cold weather and the fireplaces that are on so it's put a little damper on it but it's still been good."

Down in Franklin, Hop House is spending its first New Year’s Eve as a business by closing at 8:00 p.m. "We're not sure what to expect tonight and what kind of mood people will be in, whether it might be a problem that people really want to party a little too hardy," said co-owner Mark Cook.

Although daytime foot traffic was slow, Cook said closing the bar early was a precautionary measure. "I think that as it gets closer to midnight there might be people looking for some place that might want to come in here when we're over capacity and... we just want to keep it calm."

Cook said he’s looking forward to next year when Hop House can host a bigger crowd through midnight.

Other bars we spoke with said they also planned to close early to allow their employees time with their families after everything they've been through in 2020.