Nashville Council Denies Morgan Wallen's Bar Sign Due to Past Conduct

Nashville bar sign bid fails amid controversy

by Zain ul Abedin
Nashville Council Denies Morgan Wallen's Bar Sign Due to Past Conduct
© Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The Nashville Metropolitan Council has rejected a proposal to install a sign for Morgan Wallen's upcoming bar, "Morgan Wallen’s This Bar and Tennessee Kitchen," in downtown Nashville. The decision, marked by a significant majority, highlighted the council's concerns over Wallen's past behavior, including a recent incident where he threw a chair from a rooftop, narrowly missing first responders below, and his use of a racial slur in 2021.

During the council meeting on Tuesday, the resolution to allow 4th Avenue Property LLC, the bar’s ownership group, to display a prominent neon sign above the Broadway location was decisively defeated. Only three council members voted in favor, with 30 against and four abstaining.

This decision comes just ahead of the bar's planned opening this Memorial Day weekend. Jacob Kupin, the council member who introduced the resolution, expressed his reservations, noting the timing of the proposal coincided with Wallen's recent misconduct.

Despite acknowledging Wallen’s subsequent apology and his stated respect for law enforcement, Kupin conveyed the difficulty in endorsing a public display of Wallen's name given his actions.

Council Rejects Wallen's Sign

Wallen has attempted to make amends, stating on social media platform X that he is remorseful and committed to bettering himself.

However, his past actions continue to shadow his endeavors. At the meeting, council members discussed the implications of associating the city with Wallen’s troubled history. Council Member At Large Delishia Porterfield emphasized her opposition, reflecting on legislation aimed at fostering an inclusive community in Nashville.

She, along with others, voiced concerns about promoting a figure who has been involved in harmful incidents and used racially insensitive language. Council member Brenda Gadd echoed Porterfield's sentiments, stressing that despite Wallen's multiple chances, his actions warrant accountability rather than public endorsement.

Similarly, Joy Smith Kimbrough cited respect for the nearly injured officers as a reason for her opposition. Jordan Huffman was particularly outspoken, criticizing Wallen for tarnishing the reputation of East Tennesseans and declaring him unfit for prominent representation in the town.