Nashville bars prepare to reopen under new rules

Posted at 9:05 PM, Aug 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 07:51:05-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville bars will be able to open on Monday as the city moves into a "modified phase two" of its reopening plan.

Under the new regulations, bars and limited service restaurants will be able to operate with restrictions. The bars can have no more than 25 customers inside, with space for everyone to be socially distanced. All customers must be seated, and bar counters must remain closed.

At Dee's Country Cocktail Lounge in Madison, owners spent Sunday getting prepared for the reopening.

"Tidy up a little bit, get everything in place, get everything restocked," Co-Owner Daniel Walker said.

"I'm overwhelmed with excitement just to have the opportunity to open our doors again!" Co-Owner Amy Richardson said.

While a 25 customer limit doesn't seem like a lot, the owners said it's better than zero customers.

"It keeps my lights on, keeps my rent paid," Richardson said.

"And it keeps some of our employees that have stayed with us and done their best to be employees we can count on, it gives us a chance to give them some income as well," Walker added.

It's not the first time Richardson and Walker have prepared to reopen their doors. In June, Nashville allowed bars to reopen, only to close them down two weeks later as COVID-19 cases surged.

"I can't focus on the 'What if we get closed down again' because that's not where our energy needs to be spent," Richardson said.

Instead, the owners are spending that energy making sure things are safe. And making sure they're ready to welcome in customers.

"We're making sure we have all our staff in place and that tomorrow people will know that they have to wear a mask and stay socially distanced," Walker said.