Bar Owners React To Stunt Legislation


Randy Rayburn, who owns the Midtown Cafe, The Sunset Grill and Cabana restaurants in Nashville has an editorial this morning in the Tennessean about the guns in bars legislation from last year as well as a new bill to eliminate liquor sales after midnight and how he believes it puts the Hospitality Industry at risk.

But he also gives a history lesson.

Tennessee works best when our elected officials bring insights from their labors to our government and then return to the working world. Not just at campaign time, but every week.I think of the late Tommy Burks, waking before dawn every morning to feed his pigs, driving to Nashville for sessions of the Senate and heading home every night to do it all again the next day. I think of Ben Atchley, never forgetting the lessons he learned in the Navy, or a young Ned Ray McWherter, never forgetting he worked the same soil alongside people of a different color. And then I think of the General Assembly today.


Now, in response to fallout from the controversy over guns in bars, a legislator has proposed tying liquor permits to restaurants’ reporting their food and alcohol sales to the state and banning liquor sales after midnight

In his column, he quotes the manager of the Bluebird Cafe who said the same thing that people here on this side of the state mentioned yesterday. I spoke to several people in yesterday about the bill that Rayburn is talking about. One man, who runs a bar and grill in the college town of Martin, said this wasn’t good anyway you looked at it.

“Most of our business comes after midnight. This bill would us. We’d have to shut down.”

That particular business has been operating for 44 years.

As Rayburn points out, the lessons of past generations have been forgotten in many ways and replaced by stunt legislation.

Jeff Woods pointed out yesterday, the bill probably won’t pass and even it’s sponsor doesn’t think it will either.

Rep. Curry Todd hints he won’t try to pass his bill banning alcohol sales after midnight. He’s only trying to make a point about late-night crime. Right. It wouldn’t pass anyway …

Why waste everyone’s time then, Rep. Todd?

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