NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Nashville Mayor John Cooper sent out a statement Sunday instructing all businesses on Lower Broadway to close their doors until further notice.

Steve Smith, owner of Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Rippy’s, Honky Tonk Central, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse and The Diner, released a statement following Mayor Coopers calling the decision "unconstitutional."

We appreciate the efforts of Mayor Cooper to combat the COVID-19 virus, but unless there’s a statewide mandate that directs all bars and restaurants to be closed, the request made by Mayor Cooper is unconstitutional as he is targeting a select group of businesses.

He continued on to say:

We are compassionate with those who have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus and all who are helping manage the crisis as the entire world addresses the outbreak. However, a Tootsie’s patron as immediate as last night, mentioned having lived through the polio epidemic and didn’t recall such extreme measures being handed down in history.

As of Sunday evening, Smith plans to keep all of his businesses open and operational to serve the public until a statewide mandate is put into place from Governor Lee.

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Content Producer

Blake was born and raised in Central Ohio where he began working in TV broadcast in 2011 before moving into morning radio. Blake joined the WSMV team in October 2019. Any news stories and ideas can be sent directly to blake.summers@wsmv.com

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