NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NewsNation Now) — The livelihoods of some business owners who work in downtown Nashville changed in a matter of seconds after a Christmas morning explosion.
Officials say they are rapidly shrinking the crime scene but it could take weeks for the area directly impacted to open to the public.
More than 40 businesses on 2nd Avenue were either damaged or destroyed in the bombing. Officials say they’ll outline areas Wednesday so officers can escort about 20 business owners and residents in to access the damage, so they can being to make repairs. Officials say it could be at least another week before the second group of business owners gets to inspect the damage.
Nashville Ink and Doc Holiday Saloon are among the business trying to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Barrett Hobbs, who owns Doc Holiday Saloon, says he knows the bar has received minor door and window damage but hasn’t been able to get close to fully inspect the damage due to road closures.
Most of the buildings damaged or destroyed date back to the late 1800s. While there is a sign of building bigger and better than before, some business owners are devastated a piece of history is gone.
Hobbs is pushing for city and state leaders to step up and take care of them.
“Some of those buildings will be refurbished, I’m sure of that from what I’ve seen. You know, structurally you can’t repair some of that stuff and even if you do, you can’t go back and make it work it was. So that’s part of Nashville and part of the state of Tennessee that’ll never be back, which really sucks.”
Nashville Ink owner Lior Rose was in Kentucky getting ready to celebrate the holiday with family when his business was damaged.
“I got a lot of phone calls from my friends,” Rose said. “Needless to say we cut everything short and packed everything and came back home. We couldn’t get in and couldn’t see what was going on.”
The shop, which has been open since 2009, had already been struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t really know how to deal with this,” Rose said. “After COVID, we have been shut down for three months. Then we had to move our shop to a different location and that took about two months. So out of the year, we haven’t been at work for about six months, which is pretty rough.”
So far, longtime customers have tried to help Rose and his seven employees get through the next few months, but they have a long way to go before they can recover.
“It looks like it’s going to take at least a week before we can get in and access the damages and maybe block everything and board everything up,” Rose said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the business move forward and help the employees who will be out of work for the foreseeable future.
NewsNation affiliate WKRN contributed to this report.