'It's like breaking up a family.' Old Spaghetti Factory lease 'canceled' by landlord; staff stunned

Restaurant was damaged in 2nd Avenue bombing
Old Spaghetti Factory
Posted at 6:38 AM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 10:01:50-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Old Spaghetti Factory on 2nd Avenue will not be returning when the street is rebuilt.

According to the restaurant's district manager, the corporate landlord decided to "cancel" the restaurant's lease.

"We are disappointed and saddened that our landlord has decided to cancel our lease. We want to continue to be part of downtown and hope that those that love going to our restaurant and would like to continue to be part of our family atmosphere in downtown Nashville, ask our landlord to reconsider that decision."
- Todd Saxey, Old Spaghetti Factory District Manager

Not even two months after the Christmas bombing badly damaged the restaurant and shut it down, staff said they were heartbroken by the news about the lease.

"When you come in and close a place down, you're taking away people's livelihoods," said Bobbie Bradley, a server. "People, they depend on that job to support their families, and it's like breaking up a family is what it is."

For 10 years, Bobbie Bradley worked on the wait staff and as a trainer.

"I mean, I'm going to move on, but I'm going to fight for Old Spaghetti Factory because they fought for me and they've really taken care of us through this," Bradley said.

Following the bombing, the restaurant raised $21,000 for the more than 50 people on staff.

The restaurant has been operating downtown for more than 40 years and had 14 years left in its lease agreement.

"Money and making money isn't always the most important thing so, that's what I would have to say if I could speak to [the landlord] personally," Bradley said.

NewsChannel 5 asked the out-of-state landlord about the decision to end the restaurant's lease and is waiting to hear back.

Editor's note: The video has been removed from this story due to a quotation that was misattributed in the video.