The entire Black Nashville community suffered a huge loss at the start of the year when Trey Campbell announced the closing of Knockout Wing’s doors “until further notice.”
The message was posted on the official Knockout Wings Facebook page and read: “Attention Knockout Wings community and supporters. Knockout Wings as of 1/1/2020 has CLOSED until further notice. We would like to thank our employees and the Nashville community for their support over the years. God has truly blessed us and we have enjoyed the relationships with our customers throughout the years. Knockout Wings could not have been as successful as it was without your loyalty.”
The sudden news shocked the community and the social media madness commenced. The message was greeted with tons of comments and almost 1,000 shares on Facebook.
Plenty of people also went to Twitter to express their sadness and disappointment:
“Waking up and finding out Knockout Wings has closed really hurt me. Not only was it good, but it was a landmark, a staple in so many lives. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye and get a biscuit and some tea.”-@_COURTside on Twitter. She went on to tweet, “Y’all and honestly it’s bigger than just Knockout Wings. I promise I’m not trying to hit y’all with the fake woke stuff but the politics, (the) gentrification, lack or blocking of gains and access, funding, and the disturbance of history in North Nashville is really heartbreaking.”
Though we don’t know if the reason Knockout wings closed is related to their professional or social status in any way, points were made. For a lot of people, this closing is bigger than just biscuits and sweet tea. Some Nashville residents see this as a deeper attack on the Black community in Nashville. The big ‘G’ word couldn’t help be brought up. We all see the effects of gentrification in Nashville areas, especially East Nashville. But is that what is happening in this case? I reached out to the people at Knockout Wings to figure out the reason for the close, but got no response.
I admit this one hurts simply because it was the last wing spot we had on Jefferson Street, a historically Black street. Another North Nashville favorite, Nuttin’ But Wings recently relocated to Clarksville leaving Helen’s to hold down the chicken spots.
Jefferson Street is ours and I can’t help but feel partly responsible whenever a Black business disappears in the area. Why does it seem our Black businesses rarely withstand the test of time? Is there something we could have done differently? Let’s discuss it on the Nashville Pride Facebook page.
Here’s a list of some of the other Black landmarks we have lost in recent years:
Nuttin’ But Wings