The battle between Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk and the city of Nashville continues, and for this round it’s moving to the courtroom.
According to WKRN, the Lower Broadway bar recently had its beer permit suspended for violating the city’s COVID-19 restrictions on capacity and social distancing, as pictures spread around social media showing Kid Rock’s packed on a recent weekend night. Steve Smith, the owner of Kid Rock’s and several other downtown bars including Tootsie’s and Honky Tonk Central, responded to the citation, saying that the Nashville government was “communist” and that the city had bar owners “behind a Berlin Wall.”
Now, Kid Rock’s and Honky Tonk Central have joined a lawsuit filed by another Nashville bar, The Local, seeking financial compensation from the city and the state of Tennessee for loss of income during the recent shutdowns.
In the lawsuit, Smith claims that his bars have been the targets of selective enforcement by the city and have received unfair treatment compared to the recent protests that have been allowed and even attended by Nashville Mayor John Cooper, claiming that “Metro officials are being guided by science, but by political expediency.”
According to the complaint: “When confronted with the clear disparity in how government officials were treating restaurants/bars compared to the individuals participating in protests, both Mayor Cooper and Director (of the Metro Public Health Department Michael) Caldwell basically said these individuals have the right to peacefully assemble under the First Amendment.”
The lawsuit also asks the court to place Nashville and Davidson County under Governor Bill Lee’s reopening plan instead of the plan currently in place by Mayor Cooper. Bryan Lewis, the attorney for Smith and his bars, says he believes that they would “receive fair treatment under Governor Lee’s phases and there wouldn’t be this selective type prosecution that my client has endured for the past couple of weeks.”
Lewis also said he intends to file a restraining order against three pending citations against Kid Rock’s and Honky Tonk Central, claiming that he has “very very strong proof to show that Mr. Smith and that both Kid Rock’s and Honky Tonk Central have been selectively prosecuted in this matter.”
We’ll continue to watch this battle between Kid Rock and the city of Nashville play out – because it doesn’t look like the American Badass or his bar are going to give up any time soon.
Gonna be a long summer… and speaking of long summers, here’s Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long”