Restaurants help touring music pros who are out of a job

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:25:40-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two local restaurants are feeding Nashville's music touring professionals to help them during the pandemic.

For the past few months at the restaurants Chaatable and Audrey, people who used to work in the music touring industry could come to get a free dinner one day a week. Audrey had a meal from 4:00-6:00 on Tuesday evenings and Chaatable was the same time on Thursdays.

The owner of Chaatable said when she heard about the opportunity, she knew she had to be involved.

"We are in Music City. We've been given the opportunity to give back to people who are directly in the music industry. It was a no brainer for us," said Maneet Chauhan.

Chauhan was contacted by the Lee Initiative, a company that partnered with Touring Professionals Alliance to fund the meals. Volunteers help pass them out every week.

"Nobody's got the money to be going out to dinner or eating like we normally do. So, yeah we're just trying to get back. So, two nights a week we can make sure people have a good meal," said Doug Dashiell, a former tour production manager who's worked with artists such as Train and Meghan Trainor.

"The struggle is real, man," said Dashiell. "It's really hard to get people to put pride aside and everyone thinks they're taking something from somebody else, but it's not. We're giving back to our own."

The owner of Audrey, world-class chef Sean Brock, hasn't even opened the restaurant permanently, yet. He's still serving food out the side of the building at 809 Meridian Street in East Nashville.

The end of January could be the end of the program in Nashville, though. Maneet said there's no funding to continue past that point, but she hopes to somehow find a way to keep going as long as possible.

She said she's really enjoyed helping people so far.

"The idea for us was to provide food that was not only delicious and nourishing but also something which is exciting. Because we always think that food not only nourishes your stomach but also your soul," said Chauhan.