Proper Bagel temporarily shuts down due to presidential debate road closures

This breakfast hotspot will not be open the entire week due to Thursday’s debate at Belmont University.


Mattigan Kelly

Proper Bagel will be closed until Oct. 24 as a result of road closures due to the presidential debate. (Hustler Multimedia/Mattigan Kelly)

Leigh Farah, Staff Writer

Proper Bagel, a New York-style bagel store frequented by Vanderbilt and Belmont students will be temporarily closed from Monday, Oct. 19, through Friday, Oct. 23. 

The popular bagel spot was met with community support and outrage Oct. 17 after posting their grievances on Instagram. According to Saturday’s post, road closures on Belmont Blvd. ahead of the presidential debate are forcing the popular breakfast eatery to shut down for the entire week as they will have no access to their building or food delivery trucks. 

Road closures on Belmont Blvd. and Acklen Ave. began on Oct. 18, and several other closures will go into effect on Wednesday, Oct. 21. 

“Belmont has no concept of what it takes to actually operate a restaurant where everything is made from scratch, daily – on the premises,” the Instagram post said. “This is not something we want to do, nor can afford to do during a pandemic.”

The post’s comment section has been flooded with just under 600 comments from students and bagel-lovers alike hoping to support Proper Bagel and donate. At the same time, several community members have criticized Belmont University, claiming they are being negligent towards the small business. 

“Thank you [Belmont] for being negligent, and self-serving,” Proper Bagel wrote in their post.  “You’re displacing our business and staff (with no compensation for lost wages) for five days during a pandemic – all for your prestigious event.” 

The post gained the attention of former Nashville mayor Megan Barry, who offered her own kind words and support. 

“Love you guys so much. You and the small businesses like you are what make Nashville so special,” Barry commented. “I look forward to ordering a LOT of bagels when you are back open in support. I’m sorry. This sucks.”

In another Instagram post this morning, Proper Bagel extended their gratitude to their patrons for their heartfelt support and understanding. 

In a statement issued to News4 on Sunday, Belmont University said they “have worked diligently to ensure nearby businesses could not only remain operational but benefit from the Oct. 22 Presidential Debate” by allowing businesses to remain open to pedestrian traffic. 

These steps include providing details to patrons regarding restaurant access for take out and delivery throughout the week, sharing information about the security perimeters ahead of time and partnering with Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to better communicate with small businesses in the area, according to News4. Nearby businesses including Bongo Java will not be shutting down.

Students including Vanderbilt junior Ryan Joyce agree that the university should be extending more support to small businesses in their community. 

“It sucks that small, local shops are suffering purely because Belmont couldn’t be bothered to look away from its ego and at its impact on the community,” Joyce said. “They should definitely reimburse local businesses for lost wages as payment for the publicity they are getting from the debate at the expense of the community.”