NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Downtown businesses reacted on Friday as the governor faces criticism after being photographed mask less in Nashville on Thursday evening. 

While Mayor John Cooper has lightened COVID restrictions for businesses of late, there is still a strict mask mandate in Davidson County. However, Governor Bill Lee, Thursday night, was photographed numerous times without a face covering visiting various businesses on Broadway.

Since his pictures were posted to his Twitter account, Gov. Lee has received criticism for not complying with the Davidson County mask mandate. It is unclear if everyone in the photos is vaccinated.

"My thoughts on the Governor's presence there was I was thankful," owner Barrett Hobbs of Whiskey Bent Saloon said. "He's the first state representative that's been in our building to say, 'hey what is going on? How can I help you?'"

Gov. Lee has received his COVID-19 vaccination. "The Governor took an afternoon walk downtown to highlight the small businesses that make Nashville a great host for events and tourists alike. Established policies were respected," his office told News 4.

News 4 spoke with those on Broadway on Friday to get their opinion of the Governor.

"Hearing that the Governor is not wearing a mask, it's just disappointing, seems a bit unfair while everyone else is trying to abide," Michael Kernan said.

"COVID is obviously a huge thing, and it's a pandemic," John Attaway said. "He's obviously got the vaccine, so I don't think he should wear a mask but be in that high of a position. You are probably looked at to wear a mask."

"If you get vaccinated and simply can't have a conversation with someone without a mask on, who the hell is going to get vaccinated, what is the purpose, everyone needs to step back and realize we are in a transition," Hobbs said.

Poll: Do you think that Gov. Bill Lee should have worn a mask while visiting Broadway last night?

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