Downtown Nashville Restaurant Owners Join Forces For ‘Be a Honky Tonk Hero’ Campaign

The owners of several downtown Nashville bars have joined forces to launch the Be a Honky Tonk Hero campaign, aimed at encouraging those who enjoy the bustling night life of Music City to do their part to follow the guidelines surrounding COVID-19, including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, so bars and restaurants can safely reopen as soon as possible.

“If you love our entertainment district, our employees, and our musicians, we’re going to ask you and everyone who comes to our establishments to do their part and be a Honky Tonk Hero,” Brenda and Ruble Sanderson, owners of Broadway Entertainment, said (via Fox 17). “Being safe and respectful isn’t just best for the health of everyone downtown. It allows us to open and stay open by keeping the employees, musicians, and vendors who rely on us working. We’re playing our part, now we ask you to play yours.”

While it’s not clear who all is taking part in the campaign, Bill Miller, who owns the Johnny Cash Museum and Nudie’s, is part of the coalition as a way to encourage responsible — and mature — behavior among owners and patrons.

“It’s to demonstrate to the public and to Metro that we need to work together collaboratively and proactively,” he explained. “Pointing fingers, yelling and screaming —  that’s not going to get the job done. What’s going to get the job done is to wear your mask, social distance, behave, follow the rules.”

Several restaurants in downtown Nashville are already taking part in the Be a Honky Tonk Hero campaign, with bars vowing to participate when they are allowed to reopen again.

“We believe opening bars can be a part of the solution—just as restaurants are doing a good job working under the city’s guidance, bars are ready and able to operate the same way,”  Barrett Hobbs, owner of Cumberland Hospitality Group, explained. “When bars open it will allow us to help alleviate overflow in the streets and bring patrons into a socially distanced environment that we are able to control and enforce health guidelines. Our employees and musicians are eager to come back to work to act as ambassadors for our campaign and for safe and healthy practices throughout downtown.”

As part of the Be a Honky Tonk Hero campaign, people are urged to stay home if sick, practice social distancing, wear a mask, and frequently wash your hands. More information can be found at