Last we heard from Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse back in March, the bar had complied with Nashville mayor John Cooper’s orders to close down during the pandemic. Since then, the relationship between the Honky Tonk and the city of Nashville has soured. Since Nashville’s reopening earlier this month, the Honky Tonk’s beer permit was suspended for violating the city’s COVID-19 restrictions. The Honky Tonk is now firing back against the city with a lawsuit filed along with several other Nashville businesses for loss of income during the pandemic. The lawsuit claims there is a “disparity” between how the city has treated restaurant owners and protesters in recent demonstrations. Honky Tonk owner Steve Smith told The Tennessean, “The Nashville government is, like, communist. They’ve got us behind a Berlin Wall. It’s against our constitutional rights.” This is not the first time Smith has evoked the Constitution; he previously called the mandate to close the Honky Tonk and other private businesses “unconstitutional” in March.
Photo: 2017 Kevin Mazur