Blake Shelton Shuts Down Restaurants But Vows To Keep Paying Employees Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Blake also joked he didn't find social distancing too difficult because 'nobody likes' him.

Blake Shelton performs onstage at the "The Voice" Visits Nashville press conference at Ole Red
Jason Kempin / Getty Images

Blake also joked he didn't find social distancing too difficult because 'nobody likes' him.

Blake Shelton gave fans an update on his businesses over the weekend amid the coronavirus crisis. The popular country star revealed that he’s vowed to keep paying employees across his Ole Red restaurant locations over the coming weeks, despite being forced to close them down temporarily to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Voice coach spoke out in a video posted to his official Instagram account on March 22, also sharing that he was riding out the pandemic “in the middle of nowhere” on his ranch in Oklahoma.

“I haven’t said anything about my Ole Red locations,” Blake said in the video, per Pop Culture, admitting he felt it would go without saying that they are not open right now. He has restaurants in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and in Nashville and Gatlinburg in Tennessee. A new location was supposed to open next month in Orlando, Florida.

He told fans that all locations are now “officially” closed down “until this thing gets behind us.”

Earlier this month, Blaked fooled his social media followers with a coronavirus-related announcement from himself and girlfriend Gwen Stefani that was much less serious.

“I want people to know that we do have a commitment to all of our employees, and we’re taking care of them,” the country singer stated.

Blake then added that he and his business partners are also “trying to figure out ways to take care of some of the artists and musicians that perform at the Ole Reds,” likely via a crowdfunding campaign. The restaurants double as live music venues that offer a stage for up-and-coming artists to share their music.

In the same video, Blake included an important message for his fans, urging them to practice social distancing by staying home as much as possible or by standing at least six feet away from other people if they can’t avoid going out.

“We all have to do the right thing, so I’m out here in the middle of nowhere. Just do the right thing, stay away from everybody,” he said as he gave fans a quick look at his ranch in Oklahoma.

He then lent a little levity at such a serious time as he quipped, “For some of us, that’s not hard, because nobody likes us.”

The star promised to get back to his followers with more information about what’s going on with his Ole Red locations as needed, and encouraged his millions of fans to make the best of the difficult situation in the meantime.

“For now, let’s not think about that. Let’s take our mandatory vacation and try to enjoy it. I’m thinking about y’all, and see you down the road,” he said.

The social media clip has been viewed over 923,000 times and has received more than 4,600 comments from fans.

Blake kept things country casual in the two-minute long Instagram video. He rocked a green camo print shirt and a baseball cap while drinking from a white mug with the name of his home state emblazoned across it.