Downtown restaurants gear up for CMA Fest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) — Restaurants in and around downtown are gearing up for CMA Fest this year. It has not been held for three years due to the pandemic.

News4 spoke to some local restaurants about their staffing plans and how they are preparing for large crowds ahead of CMA Fest 2022.

“We were very lucky to have a lot of employees here. We’re just ready to party,” said Jim Stimson, owner and general manager of Big Jimmy’s and The Stillery on Second Avenue.

Stimson says they are ready for the influx of even more people on Broadway and near Second Avenue. He hopes they will give him a good appetite.

“We’re just increasing our supply order a bit and trying to get some extra food internally,” Stimson said.

Tailgate Brewery has multiple locations across Nashville. They are known for a variety of draft beers and pizzas. With the CMA Fest just days away, chief marketing officer Liz Tarry says a plan is in place.

“Our kitchen managers are working all the time to make sure we have the right stock levels for everything we are going to sell this weekend. We make sure our draft list is filled, that we have the right amount of beer,” Tarry said.

Despite the labor shortage, both restaurants I spoke with thankfully say they are well staffed.

“Over the last month or so, we’ve seen a big increase in the number of people filling out applications. I don’t know if these are newcomers to town or just people looking to spend the summer here,” Stimson said.

Tailgate says they haven’t had a problem with the job shortage and are now offering their employees full health care coverage, starting in July.

“We pride ourselves on great customer service, and a lot of that comes from our employees, so we need to treat our employees right and make this a great place to work. Thus, we pay free health care to each of the 150 members of our team. Also, we just announced a match for our 401k program,” Tarry said.

Tarry says they’ll have the stacked draw wall, can coolers and all the beer ready for whoever stops by.

“So we make sure we have the right variety for people coming in,” Tarry said.

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