Jan 4 2021
11:55 pm

Despite warnings to avoid large gatherings over the holidays, Knox County bar Cotton Eyed Joe went on business as usual with their annual New Year’s Eve party, then they followed it up with a concert with 1,200 attendees the next day.

Ward says masks and hand sanitizer were handed out at the door, but for people coming to his bar it’s their choice.

They aren't even trying.

Open earlier and close at 10 pm, require all customers to wear a mask, and come up with a distancing setup.

We all have to share the same air. You cannot do anything about that. So make employees and customers wear a mask.

They walk around people at home and work, and grocery stores, etc. Breathing around people that did not choose to go to a bar. Passing on the virus. They have effectively taken everyone they breathe around to the bar.

‘We’re trying to survive’: Owner of Cotton Eyed Joe speaks out after large events over the weekend violate county regulations

fischbobber's picture

If I was a young man........

I would follow and report this story. Getting access to attendees and tracking what actually happens as a result of events like this could be a Pulitzer story before its all said and done. A lot of work will go into covering this story well.

R. Neal's picture

From the WBIR report: The bar

From the WBIR report:

The bar was not cited because the Knox County Sheriff’s Office has declined to enforce board of health regulations and the Cotton Eyed Joe falls within their jurisdiction.

billshearn's picture

Beer Board

I'll bet the Knox County Beer Board won't pull their licenses either. Same for Paul's Oasis and Billiards and Brews. The fine is just another cost of doing business with no worry about losing their beer license due to who will be voting on it. County commissioners.

R. Neal's picture

Paul's Oasis and Billiards

Paul's Oasis and Billiards and Brews are regulated by the city's beer board and City Council. I think they have a hearing next week on revoking their licenses. But, yeah, the county isn't going to do anything, except maybe give Cotton Eye a medal.

billshearn's picture

City vs. county

I forgot the beer board was in the city but that's a good thing! Paul is a nice guy but he's hurting the community by staying open.

fischbobber's picture

Great comment.

Nobody loves drinking in bars more than me, but these guys have been given the widest berth in America and rather than step up and make it work, they've decided to burn it down. In most other cities, government has closed them down.

Here, we allowed them the opportunity to operate within reasonable, indeed well beyond reasonable circumstances and rather than come together for the good of the community, they've shoved it back in everyone's face and elected to infect their customer base, and in turn, everyone they come in contact with.

I have no sympathy for bar owners that have protested or operated outside of what have been shown to be the least restrictive regulations in America. They should be bankrupted and run out of business. This town and county doesn't need them and they should be forbidden from operating a business serving alcohol for life.

R. Neal's picture

Just in from the City of

Just in from the City of Knoxville:

Public Notice,

Hearing Officers for the City of Knoxville Beer Board will conduct a pre-hearing conferences in the below captioned matters on Thursday, January 14th 2021 over Zoom Video-Audio Conference. The hearings are open to the media and public. Please contact the City Recorder’s Office for information.

Thursday, January 14th, 2021
Pre-Hearing Conferences

10:00am City of Knoxville vs. Paul’s Oasis, 8021 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919

11:00am City of Knoxville vs. Billiards & Brews LLC, 8705 Unicorn Dr, Ste 110, Knoxville, TN 37922                        

fischbobber's picture

I wonder?

Will CTV be carrying these hearing? What must one do to watch?

jbr's picture

Punish bars for breaking COVID-19 curfew rules

Soon, Billiards and Brews may just offer billiards. The City of Knoxville wants to suspend the bar's beer permit for two-and-a-half months after it repeatedly violated COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The Knoxville Police Department has cited the Cedar Bluff bar more than a dozen times for breaking the 10 p.m. Knox County Board of Health curfew —including one night when someone was shot in the parking lot.

City of Knoxville takes steps to punish bars for breaking COVID-19 curfew rules

fischbobber's picture

Case numbers

This weekends new case count will reflect any statistical effect the Cotton Eyed Joes concerts have had on new active cases. Hospitalizations will be reflected from this event in two more weeks and deaths two weeks later. Overall compliance with the curfew seems to be growing and is likely one of the reasons for the stabilization, this week, of our Covid numbers. It’s too early to say for sure, but I’m being optimistic that we are beginning to row in the same direction.

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