The Family Wash is a great joint.
World-class songwriters and musicians can be heard five nights a week, playing for tips and enjoying the Wash’s great vibe. It is our place, our rec. center, our local, an oasis of great music, great food and a place where one can have a drink and engage in long debate over which Blue Oyster Cult record is truly the best with owner, Jamie Rubin. A musician himself, as well as a food service veteran, Jamie opened the Wash in 2002.
So what the hell happened on June 14th?
A typical Friday night at The Wash: Band playing, servers serving, bartender bartending and customers having a good time while digging the funky folk art decor, listening to the band, relaxing and enjoying the start of the weekend.
10:30ish. Jamie gets a panicked call from an employee. Five minutes later, “Who told you you could sell high gravity beer? Who sold it to you? Achtung!!! Ver are your papers!?! Schnell!” The band quits and leaves, and while the getting is good, the Friday night crowd
does the same. The intimidation worked! Good job ETF. High Five. Sieg Heil!
At this point Jamie is told he is in violation of the law and can’t sell high gravity beer. He’s been selling it for 11 years. After receiving a score of 93 on his health inspection and getting citations for only minor violations from building codes, he is told to “Get rid of it by tomorrow, or, I’ll tell you right now, we’re gonna have a problem.” Jamie spends Saturday hauling beer, finding cold storage and missing his day off with his family.
Guess what? The Wash is fully licensed and permitted to sell all of the beer and wine on the premises. The embarrassed fellow calls to say he made a mistake. Poor guy. Wasting all that good bluster for nothing! What a gyp!
Jamie does not believe he was targeted. He believes this was random. It was over the line, unprofessional, intimidating and all for naught.
If you ask me, when you accuse someone of breaking the law, chase away customers, and generally behave like a bully, you should know what the law is, jackass.
Now the Chief of Police has “apologized.” The task force that no one ever heard of before is now infamous and, largely thanks to Jamie’s unwillingness to allow his civil rights to be trampled upon, they will no longer be acting at random, instead only targeting businesses with several complaints.
In my opinion this was a classic blunder. A public relations disaster. Jackassery of the highest order.
Maybe some good can come from it …
You know those police-camera boxes with the flashing blue light that you see scattered around East Nashville? Jamie and several others from the neighborhood petitioned Metro Police for one after the clerk at the convenience store across the way was murdered in the parking lot, and a guitar player was shot leaving a gig at The Wash. The answer was “no.”
Can we please have a police box now, before someone else gets shot? That would be better for the environment at Porter and Greenwood than a random SWAT raid.
— After Hags’ dreams of being a musician were trampled upon by the hard realities of life, he decided to become a bass player. When he’s not in the studio, Hags can be seen eight nights a week playing around town with pretty much everybody. Fortunately, he still finds time to provide The East Nashvillian with his “astute observations” about life here in the promised land.