Luke Bryan’s Nashville Bar Says Missing Missouri Student Riley Strain Was Only Served One Drink, Escorted Out Front Door

Luke Bryan bar Riley Strain
Luke's 32 Bridge/Riley Strain

Luke’s bar trying to clear things up.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission had opened an investigation into Luke Bryan’s bar in downtown Nashville, Luke’s 32 Bridge, to determine whether they had overserved Missouri college student Riley Strain before he went missing last week.

Obviously much focus has been on the bar, located at 301 Broadway, since that was the last place that Strain was seen by his friends.

Luke’s is less than a 10 minute walk from the spot that Strain was seen in the video released by police, and obviously on a Friday night Broadway and the surrounding areas are full of partygoers.

TC Restaurant Group, the operator and owner of Luke’s bar, released a statement on Strain’s disappearance earlier this week, indicating that they’re working closely with authorities in the search for the missing college student:

“TC Restaurant Group, operator and owner of Luke’s 32 Bridge, is continuing to work closely with the Metro Nashville Police Department to provide security camera footage and any other potentially helpful information to aid in the search for Riley Strain. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones for his safe return.”

But according to Riley’s family, the bar refused to let his friends accompany him when he was kicked out of the bar.

During an interview with NewsNation, Strain’s parents say that their son was asked to leave the bar due to being “over served.” But they also claim that the bar would not let his friends leave with him at that point.

In a statement to WSMV earlier this week, TABC Communications Director Aaron Rummage confirmed that his department was investigating the bar’s conduct on the evening of Strain’s disappearance:

“There are no specific rules or statutes that governs escorting out intoxicated patrons from their businesses or providing assistance in getting someone home. However, state law prohibits serving alcoholic beverages to someone who is visibly intoxicated. A violation is a class A misdemeanor. The TABC has opened an investigation into this matter to see if any violations have occurred.”

But TC Restaurant group has issued a new statement disputing that Strain was over served while in the bar, and claiming that he was asked to leave through the front door, not a back door as has been previously reported:

“In our effort to help the Nashville Metro Police Department’s Missing Persons investigation of Riley Strain, we proactively provided detailed information quickly after his visit to our business on March 8.

This information included all security camera footage, photos of Riley at our establishment with detailed time stamps, transaction records, and staff accounts. Additionally, we proactively engaged in communication with the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission and will continue to communicate and provide any records needed to aid their ongoing investigation.

During Riley’s visit to Luke’s 32 Bridge, our records show he purchased and was served one alcoholic drink and two waters. At 9:35 p.m., our security team made a decision based on our conduct standards to escort him from the venue through our Broadway exit at the front of our building. He was followed down the stairs with one member of his party. The individual with Riley did not exit and returned upstairs.

Our prayers continue to be with Riley’s friends and family during this difficult time and for his safe return.”

After being asked to leave the bar, Strain’s friends called him, but he told them he would just walk back to their hotel. The group was staying at the Tempo Hotel, which is just off of Broadway on 8th Avenue, and just a few blocks from Luke’s bar.

But for some reason, it appears that Strain walked in the opposite direction of his hotel, because the last location that his phone pinged was near the Davidson County Courthouse at around 9:53 pm.

Friends say when they got back to their hotel, they assumed that Strain was just in another room. But the next morning, they realized that he was missing and went to the local police precinct to file a missing persons report.

The 911 call made by Riley’s fraternity brother, Brayden Baltz, was also released, and provides more detail about what went on the night he went missing.

And yesterday, Metro Nashville Police released footage of Strain from just minutes before his phone stopped sharing his location.

In the video, a clearly intoxicated Strain can be seen crossing the street near Public Square Park and the Davidson County Courthouse. Strain, in his distinctive black and white shirt, is crossing 1st Ave N. and headed towards Gay Street – and towards the Cumberland River, in the opposite direction of his hotel.

MNPD reports that the video, which appears to be from a street camera, was taken at 9:47 pm, just minutes before Strain disappeared after his phone stopped sharing his location. He’s also seen talking to some of his fellow pedestrians, who I’m sure the police are working to track down in hopes of getting more information about what happened after they walked out of view of the camera.

There has also been additional video released that shows Strain stumbling and even falling at one point as he crosses a parking lot, possibly hitting his head as he fell to the ground. And honestly, it’s just hard to watch.

And a reporter here in Nashville says that there is video footage of Strain making it as far as the Jefferson Street Bridge, which is over half a mile away from where his phone reported his last location.

Strain’s friends and family attempted to track his location with both the Life360 app and Snapchat, but unfortunately the phone was turned off around 10 pm on Friday night. And since then, his parents have traveled to Nashville to assist the search for their son.

The Metro Nashville Police Department posted on Twitter this week that they were searching for Riley, including by helicopter and searches of the riverbank along the Cumberland River where his phone last reported a location. The United Cajun Navy, a group that helps with water searches, is also involved and assisting with the search for Riley.

And now, it’s being reported that Strain was spotted by individuals at two separate homeless camps near the river on the night he disappeared.

According to WSMV, a family friend, Chris Dingman, says they were told that at least two homeless people in downtown Nashville have reported seeing Strain walking by on Friday night after the last known footage of the college student:

“I was talking to family members currently in downtown Nashville searching, and we have found another homeless person that had acknowledged that Riley had been in that area.

This now makes two people that has done confirmation. These are areas that the camera had stops. We don’t have any footage. Basically, the areas where his phone quit pinging. We now do have visual confirmation from two homeless camps that Riley was in that area.”

The homeless camps are located under the Woodland Street Bridge and the James Robertson Parkway Bridge, both of which cross the Cumberland River and connect downtown Nashville to the east bank of the city (which is the location of Nissan Stadium and the juvenile detention center directly over the bridge).

Dingman said that while the homeless recognized Strain, they weren’t able to recall where he went after they saw him.

But according to one local woman, she saw a homeless man later in the weekend wearing what appeared to be the distinctive multicolored shirt that Strain was wearing when disappeared.

The new information comes from a woman who identifies herself as Sabrina during a call into The Pascal Show, an online show hosted by Pascal Beauboeuf and based in Strain’s home state of Missouri.

Sabrina, who says she’s from Murfreesboro, Tennessee (which is about half an hour from Nashville, in case you’re not familiar with the area), says that she often works to feed the homeless in Nashville. And before she knew Riley was missing and saw photos of him, she saw a homeless man wearing a shirt that appeared to be the same one the missing Missouri student was wearing when he disappeared:

“The shirt I saw on Facebook is what caught my attention…

On Sunday, when I was feeding the homeless down by the Cumberland River in what they call Tent City, we were handing out our water and our food and there was a young man on a bicycle.

He had on extremely dirty pants, brown shoes, and had on like a half zip-up hoodie is what it looked like, that was very dirty, and had a clean, collared white shirt with a dark colored pocket on it. I don’t remember if it was black, blue, brown. But it was very distinct because it was the different colored pocket and his shirt was bright white.

He was filthy, as a lot of them are generally fairly dirty, and you don’t see a lot of bright white shirts. If they do have on white it’s very discolored. So I mentioned to one of the girls that was with me when he walked off, ‘Oh he must have got a new shirt.'”

Well that would be big if it’s true – and if it’s actually Riley’s shirt.

Sabrina says she asked those who were with her if any of them got a picture of the man, but nobody had any pictures that showed the shirt.

And she’s also clear that the man she saw wasn’t Riley Strain, but that she’s reported what she saw to the Metro Nashville police.

“It was a very distinct shirt that he was wearing. And the tent city’s not too far from downtown. Someone could have found the shirt and put it on.”

Another interesting piece of information that Sabrina provided: She’s seen the man in the homeless camp before, pulling a cart.

And in the video released by Metro Police showing Strain crossing the street minutes before disappearing, there’s a man in the video who appears to be wearing a hoodie and pulling a cart before the student crosses the street.

You can hear the full conversation with Sabrina here:

Now, could all this be nothing? Absolutely.

But at this point, with not much to go on aside from the video footage that police already have, I’m sure they’re looking into all possible leads and trying to track down anybody who may have seen Riley Strain, or anything that may have belonged to him.

Meanwhile, the Nashville Office of Emergency Management took to the Cumberland River to search for signs of Strain, with OEM reporting yesterday that they were using two boats to assist with the search, using sonar equipment to search beneath the muddy water.

Police say they’ve done a search of jail and hospital records with no success, so for now they’re are asking anybody with tips or who might have seen Riley on Friday night to call them at 615-862-8600 with any information.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock