Due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Mayor John Cooper has decided to revert the city back to a modified Phase 2. For restaurants, this means more restrictive protocols will be in place until Nashville is able to move to the next phase of reopening. Unfortunately, bars must close for fourteen (14) days from July 3, 2020 (until August 1, 2020 until further notice). 

In the newly modified Phase 2, restaurants must now operate at 50% capacity or to the maximum occupancy that can maintain social distancing, which ever is less. See below the requirements for these restaurants:

  • No parties of more than six (6) people.
  • Self-service food, beverage, or shared condiments are not permitted.
  • Restaurants are required to clean all surfaces after use of each patron.
  • The use of disposable, virtual, or no-touch menus is highly recommended.
  • Take-out alcohol sales are still allowed.

In the newly modified Phase 2, limited service restaurants (you know who you are – those who serve less than 50% in gross sales of prepared food) must close beginning July 3, 2020 as well.  Limited service restaurants can, however, continue to offer curbside or delivery of food and alcohol.

As bars begin to reopen after the closure period, they must adhere to the new restrictions in place to include:

  • Live music and entertainment are allowed, subject to the conditions set by the Public Health Order 7.
  • Install physical barriers between performers and the audience.
  • Patrons must be seated.
  • Ancillary or participatory activities including, but not limited to, arcade games, pool, football, darts, laser tag, or similar activities may open and should be cleaned between each use. Cleaning supplies should be provided alongside such participatory activities for customers to use between each use.

Note:  If you are a bar that serves beer only (as opposed to alcohol/wine and beer), you must close during the closure period. 

In addition to the newly modified Phase 2, the Mayor as well as the Chief Medical Director of the Metro Health Department has issued Order 8 requiring the use of face coverings or masks in public spaces.  When eating or drinking in public at a restaurant, bar, or other food or beverage establishment, a face covering or mask is not required. It is recommended that while you are not partaking in food or beverages that a face covering is worn.

As a business that is open to the public, you must post a sign at each public entrance to state the following:

“Dear Customers/Visitors,

Pursuant to Order 8 from the Chief Medical Director of Health for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, you are REQUIRED to wear a cloth face covering or mask while in the business/facility. This will help PROTECT our EMPLOYEES and EACH OTHER.” 

We at Belcher Sykes Harrington/Harrington Beverage Law Blog will continue to provide coverage of the orders and regulations affecting hospitality industry members as the pandemic progresses.  

Last modified: July 16, 2020