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U.S. Attorneys Office Completes Nashville Restaurant Review for Compliance with the ADA

June 22, 2017
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee has completed its review of 16 of Nashville's most popular and frequented restaurants to determine if they are in compliance with the Americans [w]ith Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”), announced Acting United States Attorney Jack Smith. The initiative is in accordance with the Department of Justices congressionally-mandated responsibility to review compliance with the ADA. It is not in response to any specific complaint against a restaurant.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the passage of the ADA. The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by places of public accommodation, including restaurants, and requires places of public accommodation to be “designed, constructed, and altered in compliance with the accessibility standards established” by the ADA's implementing regulations.

“Nashville is a growing city, and has become a tourist destination with a vibrant restaurant scene, said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith. “People with disabilities who live, work in, and visit Nashville deserve an equal opportunity to access and enjoy all that the city has to offer. We are pleased by the cooperation of all restaurants reviewed and commend them for their desire to take swift action to resolve all of the issues identified during the review.”

The U.S. Attorneys Office initiated its compliance review on February 29, 2016. It objectively selected the restaurants to be reviewed using recent third party restaurant rankings in order to review 16 of Nashville's most popular and frequented restaurants. The restaurants selected were: Arnold's Country Kitchen, Caffe Nonna, The Catbird Seat, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, City House, Etch Restaurant, Hattie Bs (Downtown), Husk, Josephine, Kayne Prime, Lockeland Table Community Kitchen & Bar, Maggianos Little Italy, Margot Café & Bar, Monell's (Germantown), Rolf & Daughters, and Watermark.

As part of the review, restaurant owners were asked to complete a survey supplied by the government pertaining to their restaurants accessibility. Federal investigators then conducted an on-site inspection of each of the restaurants to confirm survey responses and to evaluate compliance with federal ADA regulations.

The U.S. Attorneys Office found barriers to access in varying degrees in each of the restaurants. These barriers included, among other things, issues related to parking, entrance accessibility, fixture height and clearance and other obstacles to accessibility.

Since identifying these violations, the United States Attorneys Office and the restaurants have worked together to remove each of these barriers in order to make the restaurants fully compliant with the ADA. The United States Attorneys Office is pleased to announce that all 16 restaurants have undertaken efforts to remove barriers to access so that all patrons can enjoy their dining experience, and it has closed its compliance review at this time.

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