Published Jun 30, 2020After getting slapped with a suspended beer licence for disobeying coronavirus regulations earlier this month, the owner of Kid Rock's Nashville bar, the Big Ass Honky Tonk and Rock & Roll Steakhouse, has filed a lawsuit against the local government, calling city officials "communists" for imposing ongoing safety restrictions.
According to the Tennessean, bar owner Steve Smith (who had previously resisted closing the restaurant back in the early days of the pandemic) has joined several other Nashville businesses in a suit that calls for compensation for loss of business during lockdown.
"The Nashville government is, like, communist. They've got us behind a Berlin Wall," Smith told the publication of the restrictions. "It's against our constitutional rights."
The filing comes after the restaurant was photographed having amassed a crowd of hundreds of people — none of whom were observing physical distancing recommendations or wearing adequate PPE.
The lawsuit alleges that restaurants, bars and music venues on Nashville's Broadway strip have been unfairly targeted in lockdown procedures, whereas protestors, it suggests, have not.
"Metro officials are not being guided by science, but by political expediency," a section of the suit reads.
The suit names Gov. Bill Lee, Mayor John Cooper, state Attorney General Herbert Slatery and Nashville health director Dr. Michael Caldwell as defendants.
"When confronted with the clear disparity in how government officials were treating restaurants/bars compared to the individuals participating in protests, both Mayor (John) Cooper and Director (Michael) Caldwell basically said these individuals have the right to peacefully assemble under the First Amendment," the lawsuit reads.