Nashville has had fairly good compliance with the order to re-close bars for the month of July. But a biker bar in Old Hickory refused to comply, even after a visit from health inspectors on Friday. So on Sunday, they returned with a court order to close Full Throttle Bar and Grill.
Owner Gary McIntosh met officials with the Metro Public Health Department on Sunday morning as they came to tape signs to the windows and padlock the building.
“You’re going to allow me to say what I’ve got to say because I’m getting sick and tired of you guys bullying everybody. This is how I make my living,” McIntosh said on a video posted to Facebook.
He went on to argue that just because he has a “limited service restaurant” license should not mean he has to close since he serves food. Generally, the state considers an establishment a bar if less than half its revenue comes from food.
McIntosh is due in court on Wednesday. He tells WPLN News that if he fails to comply, he’s been threatened with up to five days in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Full Throttle opened in late 2019 and only received its liquor license a few weeks before the initial shutdown in March of this year. The owners say they had moved stools from the bar to reduce patrons congregating and limited capacity to 50%, as full-service restaurants are required.
Co-owner Becca McIntosh says she tried to call the health department several times to get clarification on whether her bar sold enough food to qualify as a restaurant. But they never returned the call, instead showing up in-person on Friday because of a complaint.
“We felt like we were doing all of the things that were required,” she says.
The health department says every other bar that inspectors have visited has agreed to close and that “the goal in every action … is the health of the citizens of Nashville.”