Beale Street business owner reacts to new reopening guidelines

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Beale Street is known for its live blues music that helps draw millions of visitors to Memphis each year. But now the iconic street will reopen without tunes.

FOX13 spoke to a business owner about the new reopening guidelines.

The owner of Tater Red’s said he is struggling. Leo Allred said he thinks his business will only last one more week before he decides if he wants to shut it down.

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Some bars are already open, but Allred said it’s pointless because people come here for the music and live bands are not allowed to play.

No live music on Beale is one of the reopening guidelines put in place by the City of Memphis, Downtown Memphis Commission, and Beale Street Management.

RELATED: Very strict guidelines at center of memo on Beale Street reopening

“Beale Street is known for music,” said Allred. “That’s what it's always been about.”

He said he is struggling to maintain his business since COVID-19 shut everything down.

Allred said he is also upset about the new guidelines, especially because they do not allow bar windows.

He told FOX13 that’s how he makes half of his money.

“It comes at a time in a business when it's over with, and sometimes you have to face up to it,” said Allred.

FOX13 obtained the email from Beale Street management that outlines the guidelines.

Another rule on the list says customers are not allowed to drink on Beale Street, only inside bars and restaurants.

Customers can order drinks to go, but only if it's with food and there is a lid on the container.

All businesses will also close at 10 p.m.

“People come to Beale Street to drink, eat, party and have a good time. If you take that away, they probably won't come,” said Allred.

It’s a new Beale Street for customers and business owners concerned about the future of their livelihoods.

“If the city takes away the heritage of the street, there is really nothing else” Allred said.

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