Could Morgan Wallen’s Upcoming Nashville Bar Be In Jeopardy Following His Recent Arrest?

Morgan Wallen mughost

Earlier this year, Morgan Wallen announced plans for an upcoming bar in downtown Nashville, appropriately named This Bar And Tennessee Kitchen.

But finding himself getting arrested at another bar, could Morgan’s own venue be in trouble?

Of course by now everybody knows about the country superstar’s latest legal troubles after he was arrested in Nashville for allegedly throwing a chair off the rooftop of his friend Eric Church’s new downtown bar, Chief’s.

Morgan was ultimately charged with three felony counts of reckless endangerment and one count of disorderly conduct, and was released on a $15,000 bond early Monday morning.

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As of right now, the only statement that’s come from the singer or his team has been a short release from his attorney on Monday:

“At 10:53p Sunday evening Morgan Wallen was arrested in downtown Nashville for reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He is cooperating fully with authorities.”

Morgan’s next court date has been set for May 3, a settlement hearing in general sessions court which is likely when his case will be set for an appearance in circuit court.

There’s no opening date for his new bar that’s been announced at this point, but according to one attorney in Nashville, he might want to go ahead and get the paperwork in order sooner rather than later now that he’s facing felony charges.

Rob Pinson, a partner and alcohol licensing specialist at law firm Adams and Reese, spoke to the NY Post about the problems that Morgan – and his bar – are facing:

“If Morgan is planning to be an owner, they might want to apply soon because having a felony conviction, which he does not currently have, could disqualify him from getting a liquor license.”

Of course there’s no guarantee that Morgan will ever have a felony conviction from the incident. Even if he does decide to plead guilty, there’s a good chance that he’ll try to work out a plea deal with prosecutors that will allow him to plead guilty to lesser charges and avoid having a felony on his record. (Although that may be complicated by the fact that the alleged victims in the case are police officers – something that may make prosecutors less likely to give Morgan a break).

But if he does end up with a felony on his record, Pinson says that may prohibit his bar from getting a liquor license if Morgan is in fact an owner – although that’s an important “if,” because a lot of the artists who have their own bars downtown aren’t actually owners.

Most of the artist bars in Nashville are actually owned by hospitality companies, and the artist simply licenses their name and image for the bar to use on the front door. (A couple of exceptions are Alan Jackson’s AJ’s Good Time Bar, Eric Church’s Chief’s, and John Rich’s Redneck Riviera).

In fact, Morgan is opening his new bar with TC Restaurant Group, which operates several artist-affiliated bars on Broadway, including Luke Bryan’s Luke’s 32 Bridge, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar, Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa, and FGL House.

So according to Pinson, it may all come down to whether Morgan is actually an “owner” of the bar, or whether he’s simply licensing his name for the front of it.

“A lot of these celebrity-branded honky tonk deals are royalty based, and he could get royalties rather than being an owner. Deals like that receive less scrutiny than straight ownership and it likely won’t be an issue for him.”

Either way, whether or not it’s actually an obstacle, it’s no doubt a headache that I’m sure everybody involved was wishing they didn’t have to deal with.

And Morgan better watch the chairs in his own bar when it opens…Eric Church just might show up looking for a little revenge.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock