Nashville is unfortunately seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, which is why Acme Feed & Seed is temporarily closing its doors. The popular bar and music venue announced the news in a lengthy post on social media, saying their adherence to the rules and regulations, as part of the plan put in place by Mayor John Cooper, has worked against them.
“In March of 2020 (eight months ago) the city of Nashville asked us to close our doors as the Covid pandemic emerged as a public threat to our collective health as a city, a country and the world,” the statement begins. “The message from our federal leadership was and continues to be muddled, so we decided as a company we would listen to the science. Our decisions would be primarily based on the safety of our staff and customers, followed by the economics of operating in this climate. We chose to furlough over 200 employees, allowing them to keep their benefits, insurance and an assurance they had a job on the other side of the crisis. We needed strong leadership to set the example for a path forward, leadership never came.
“Locally the efforts were successful to a degree that we felt encouraged to try and reopen and in doing so we could take advantage of the PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] relief dollars,” the statement continues. “What we have learned is without enforcement of the mandates, those of us who follow them are penalized. Lack of enforcement has given the rule breakers the economic advantage and fosters a free for all, and a general disrespect for our hospitality community. We see the lack of enforcement of their own mandates by the city as the determining factor in our decision to close Acme until science says it’s safe.”
Acme Feed & Seed reopened in the beginning of October, months after they had originally hoped to welcome guests. Owner Tom Morales said he made the decision to delay the reopening after he saw other downtown businesses not enforcing the mask mandate.
“It’s really not much of an inconvenience,” he told News Channel 5. “If it’s raining, you put up an umbrella, if you get into a car you buckle a seatbelt. Let’s wear a mask. Let’s get through this together as one.”
Tom also spoke out at the time about the owners of other businesses, whose actions he said were selfish and impeding his own success.
“They’re creating incubators for the virus,” Tom noted. “It’s based on greed, really, because if we all did this together and played by the rules like good community members, we’d all emerge out of this together on an equal playing field. If people want to write their own rules and do it the way they’ve been doing it, it’s just going to hold us all back.”
Acme Feed & Seed might be temporarily closed, again, but they will still work hard to provide music that will help both themselves and others.
“While our doors will be temporarily closed, our hearts are still open to the city of Nashville, its residents, and our local music community,” the statement concludes. “We will strive to once again find a way to pivot and provide a platform to showcase the authentic music city. We will focus on live streams benefitting charities like the one we hosted back in June that raised $50,000 for the Music Health Alliance. We’ll focus on small, curated private events that we can have full control over from start to finish. We’ll focus on ways to bring our city together safely, at a time when we all need it most. Stay tuned and stay safe.”