Kid Rock's Bar to Close After Initial Refusal, Dierks Bentley to Help His Employees Amid Shutdowns

The rapper's business partner Steve Smith has agreed to close up Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk and Steakhouse after previously defying Nashville Mayor's request, while the country music star pledges $90k for hourly employees at his bar Whiskey Row.

AceShowbiz - Kid Rock and Dierks Bentley's business has been affected by the coronavirus crisis. Both stars own a bar in Nashville, which is now closed following Nashville Mayor John Cooper's recent directive that all bars in town close up, and restaurants cut their capacity in half.

Kid co-owns Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse with restaurateur Steve Smith, who initially refused to shut down the operation of the bar despite the Mayor's order. He said in a statement on Sunday, "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."

Steve added, "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."

He continued, "In response, Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Rippy's, Honky Tonk Central, Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse and The Diner will continue to remain open to serve the public until such statewide mandate is issued from the Governor of Tennessee."

However, in 24 hours, Steve has had a change of heart and announced that he will close all his bars and restaurants, including Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse.

Dierks, on the other hand, has taken one step ahead of Steve by not only closing his famed Whiskey Row bar, but also pledging $90,000 for his hourly employees. He posted on Twitter and Instagram on Monday, March 16, "Me heart goes out to all the guys/girls down on Lower Broad. ... I am going to immediately give each of hour 90 hourly employees $1,000 to help in the short run as our community and country try to get a handle on the situation."

The "Living" singer also encouraged "all bar owners on Lower Broadway to take care of their bartenders, bar backs, waitresses, security, dishwashers etc the best they can." He added, "Lower Broadway is the heartbeat of Nashville. Let's make sure we help the folks that help make the music happen."

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