Restaurant opens three days before safer at home order, tries to stay open

Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 21:42:23-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A business that opened three days before a safer-at-home order was declared by Nashville's mayor is trying to stay open amid the news coronavirus outbreak.

The soft launch date for Midnight Oil was March 13. The business had been under construction for months before but now that the business is open, they're not even allowing customers to come inside.

Instead, they're serving food and drinks out of an exterior window. Times are tough, but one of the owners, Nate Bagby, says he's trying to stay positive.

“The neighborhood hasn’t kind of died," he said. "There’s still things going on. We can be responsible and stay in our houses but still be a community. I think that’s probably the most that we’re offering.”

Bagby says his main reason for staying open right now is to provide the employees with income through the crisis.

“I know a lot of people who are just struggling with the whole laying off of employees trying to figure out a way where, you want to pay your bills but you also don’t want to feel guilty that your employee is going to have to go hungry," he said.

Bagby said he was looking forward to the SBA loans but doesn't think his business applies since it opened past January 1st.

He believes there will be a big resurgence of customers once the crisis ends, though.

“If you come by and buy our pizza we love you. If we at least know we’re here we still love you. So, I think if everyone in Nashville just hunker down, sit tight, it’s all going to be over with sooner or later and probably sooner if you actually do what you’re supposed to do,” said Bagby.