Music

City Council Denies Morgan Wallen’s Nashville Bar Sign, Citing Controversies 

Morgan Wallen’s questionable behavior in recent years caught up to him Tuesday when a Nashville council voted overwhelmingly to deny a 20-foot sign bearing his name in the city’s famed Lower Broadway entertainment district. The sign was proposed to hang from the bar over the sidewalk below; the venue already has a sign affixed to the top of the building.

The country star’s “Morgan Wallen’s This Bar” — a bar and restaurant run by a third-party business but named after Wallen and his 2019 hit “This Bar” — is set to open this weekend on Fourth Avenue North, adjacent the Ryman Auditorium. 

However, the city’s council voted 30-3 to reject the establishment’s bid to construct the neon sign with Wallen’s name on it, citing both his arrest and felony charges in a rooftop chair-throwing incident — which occurred at a Nashville bar just 600 feet from Morgan Wallen’s This Bar, The Tennessean notes — as well as the time that the singer was caught using a racial slur on camera.

“I don’t want to see a billboard with the name of a person who’s throwing chairs off of balconies and who’s saying racial slurs and using the n-word,” council member Delishia Porterfield said at Tuesday’s hearing to vote on the matter.

“Mr. Wallen is a fellow East Tennessean. He gives all of us a bad name,” council member Jordan Huffman said (via The Tennessean). “His comments are hateful; his actions are harmful.”

Council member Jacob Kupin was one of the three who voted in favor the sign, citing the establishment’s managing team, TC Restaurant Group, as a “really a good partner in everything going on downtown.” (TC Restaurant Group also operates branded bars by Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Miranda Lambert, among others.) However, after the sign was resoundingly rejected by the council, Kubin later added on Twitter, “I could not in good conscience let this one go through quietly. We are working hard on the safety and security downtown, and Morgan Wallen has continued to put others at risk. That said, I appreciate the restaurant group helping with these efforts.”

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A similar issue arose in 2019 when the Nashville council had to vote whether to approve signage for Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse, which — in addition to that singer’s checkered past — also featured a guitar shaped like buttocks. While some council members voiced their concern about Kid Rock and the sign, it overwhelmingly passed by a 27-3 vote.

Despite the signage hiccup, Morgan Wallen’s This Bar still plans to open this Memorial Day Weekend.

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