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2nd Avenue businesses welcome pedestrians back to the area in hopes of rebounding

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Posted at 8:15 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 21:35:36-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville Mayor John Cooper says the plan is to rebuild 2nd Ave., but also maintain the history that makes it a landmark.

“This will require an inclusive process with businesses and residents to build back this iconic part of historic downtown Nashville,” Cooper said.

On 2nd Ave. you notice a lot of double-takes and understandably so. From the Broadway intersection, you can see straight down the street where just past Commerce, is nothing more than rubble and glass.

That’s when people look in front of them, see a barrier, and assume it’s all off-limits. Not quite the case. If the signs don’t give it away and the music isn’t enough, the people walking back and forth past the barrier should make it clear. Between Broadway and Commerce, 2nd Ave. is open for pedestrians.

We first discovered it on Monday, but four days later Mayor Cooper made it official in his weekly Metro update. Mayor Cooper insisted that the city was committed to bringing 2nd Ave. back better than ever and that, “preliminary inspection suggests that all the damaged buildings on 2nd Ave. can be rehabilitated.”

Michael Warner of Market Street Mercantile is back at work for the first time this week, since the Christmas Day bombing.

“It’s been a little slow, but I mean it’s expected,” Warner said.

Warner’s shop was spared much of the damage that other shops sustained, which he said made it much easier to take the leap of faith and reopen their doors. They’ve cleared the broken glass and restocked their inventory, now comes the hard part.

Warner says unless we can spread the news that this area of 2nd Ave. is open, people may be convinced the barrier is meant to keep them out and not just vehicles.

“We’re open for business. We’re trying the best we can to pull ourselves out of that rut. I think we’re doing it. It will take a little time, but it will be worth it in the end,” Warner said.