John Rich's Redneck Riviera was the first bar on Lower Broadway in Nashville to reopen this month following a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the musician shared that it "feels great" to have the bar open again. Rich exclusively told PopCulture.com that he and his staff have been complying with all of the necessary rules and precautions for reopening, and so are his customers.
"Of course there's a lot of rules, regulations, stuff that you have to do, correctly to open safely and carefully but we've done that and I've honestly been really proud of our customers that they follow the rules," Rich said. "I was wondering, 'Are we gonna have to separate people? Are people gonna get upset?' and I think they're just so happy to be able to go to a bar, get a Redneck Riviera whiskey and Coke, barbecue sandwich and just be somewhere else. That the last thing they're gonna do is cause any trouble. It's been a good experience so far."
Rich explained that the bar is not requiring his customers to wear masks, though many do, and that his staff wears masks and receives a temperature check every day. "The state of Tennessee and the city of Nashville do not require customers to wear masks anywhere in any business," he said. "And so what we do is, at Redneck Riviera, we offer them a mask when they come through the door, and we urge them to wear that mask. Some of them do wear them when they come in. Some of them don't, but we offer them one anyway. Then, of course, all of our employees are temperature checked every day and they put on a mask and gloves. We're following the letter of the law as they've laid it out here in Tennessee."
As for his own quarantine activities, Rich shared how he's just "trying to be productive." In addition to his jobs as a musician and business owner, the Big & Rich member is a dad to two sons, aged 8 and 10, both of whom recently had their last day of home school. "They're pumped," he joked. "I'm pumped because I told them, 'Listen, guys, I hope this is over before you hit eighth grade, 'cause eighth grade was the longest four years of my life and I can't help you at that point.' We've had fun with it."
He's also been writing music and recently shared a new song, "Earth to God" with his fans on Twitter. "That song came to me because I had this thought, the last time the whole world was in the same predicament was Noah's flood, when the whole Earth flooded and the whole Earth was in trouble, until now," Rich recalled. "I thought, 'Man, the whole Earth is having the same problem at the same time, the whole Earth should probably reach out to the boss, the guy that created it in the first place.'"