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Hunker down update for Nashville, other Tennessee cities

Mar 22, 2020

UPDATED: April 15, 2020

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued a stay-at-home order, effective until midnight April 30.

This means all bars and restaurants remain closed in Tennessee, except for takeout, curbside and delivery. A copy of the order is at this link. 

Importantly, we read the order as specifically authorizing liquor stores to remain open.

In describing Food and Medicine Stores, the order includes “other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries, canned food, dry goods, frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, prepared food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.” This includes distilleries and breweries offering product for sale to-go and at curbside.

Hunkered down, safe at home and knowing that a cocktail is available for delivery by just calling a local restaurant finds us singing REM’s immortal hit:

It’s the end of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it

and I feel fine

Here is a summary of local orders, which we will update as we receive information:

Chattanooga. Mayor Andy Berke entered an executive order closing “establishments whose primary business is alcohol service or food service. … Nothing in this order shall be intended to prevent pick-up, delivery or drive-thru service.” Mayor Berke’s proclamation went into effect at midnight on March 19. Mayor Berke mandated additional steps on March 25 to limit community exposure to the virus and protect workers, but pick-up, delivery and drive-thru are still authorized.

Chattanooga suburb East Ridge issued an order closing on-site dining at food and alcohol establishments. Takeout, delivery and drive-thru can remain open.

Franklin. Mayor Ken Moore issued a Stay at Home Executive Order beginning at 12:01 a.m., March 25, and effective for seven days. All but essential business are closed. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food can be open, but only for delivery or carry out.

Knox County. March 23, the Knox County Health Department issued the Knox County Safer at Home Order, which urges all residents to shelter in place to the extent possible. The order remains in effect for 14 days, subject to extension. Although the order is not specific, there is language that allows “other businesses supporting the food supply” to be open and the order specifically allows delivery. We see this as authorizing takeout and delivery by restaurants.

Memphis. March 23, Mayor Jim Strickland issued an executive order directing all individuals living in the City of Memphis to remain in their place of residence unless engaged in essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses as defined in the order. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food are open, but only for delivery or carry out. Memphis has a special beer delivery act. (https://www.wallerlaw.com/news-insights/3522/How-to-deliver-beer-in-Nashville-during-the-corona-closure) In a spot of good news for carryout, city officials are bagging downtown meters to allow temporary parking for curbside delivery and takeout.

Memphis suburbs Germantown, Bartlett, & Collierville issued stay at home orders, which authorize going to a restaurant for takeout, delivery or drive-thru.

Nashville. Chief Medical Director Dr. Michael Caldwell issued Safer at Home Order on March 22, directing residents of Nashville and Davidson County to stay inside their homes and limit all movement outside of their residence beyond what is necessary to take care of essential needs. The city previously closed dine-in service at restaurants. Take-out orders, drive-thru service, curbside pickup, and delivery service are permitted. Nashville has a special beer delivery act. (https://www.wallerlaw.com/news-insights/3522/How-to-deliver-beer-in-Nashville-during-the-corona-closure)

Sumner County.  March 23, Mayor Anthony Holt issued a Safer at Home declaration closing all non-essential businesses. Although the order is not specific, there is language that allows “other businesses supporting the food supply” to be open. We see this as authorizing takeout service by restaurants.

Tullahoma. March 23, Mayor Curlee issued a Shelter at Home order, which imposes a curfew between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., during which all persons in the City of Tullahoma shall remain home. The order closed all businesses effective at 6:00 pm on March 24, 2020, except for businesses deemed essential services. Although the order is not specific, there is language that allows “other businesses supporting the food supply” to be open. We see this as authorizing takeout service by restaurants.

Wilson County. March 25, Mayor Randall Hutto issued a letter to residents declaring a State of Emergency. Residents should not eat or drink onsite at restaurants or bars, which should not be open except for drive-through, pickup, carry-out or delivery service for food and drink. Lebanon and Mt. Juliet had already declared states of emergency with similar restrictions.

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