Twelve Texas bars had their permits suspended following a weekend of undercover enforcement efforts by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
On Friday, TABC implemented Operation Safe Open — a series of undercover investigations across the state to ensure bar owners are following protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19, including adherence to indoor customer capacity limits of 50% for bars and 75% for restaurants and social distancing of at least 6 feet between groups of customers.
“Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “We warned businesses TABC will have no tolerance for breaking the rules, and now, some bars are paying the price. I hope other establishments will learn from these suspensions.”
TABC Chair Kevin J. Lilly noted the violations found over the weekend represent a very small number of the 3,500 licensed businesses inspected by TABC since the beginning of May.
“A large majority of business owners are showing their commitment to keeping customers and employees safe, and we’re grateful for all of their hard work. TABC is committed to assisting the industry as we all work for a safe Texas.”
The businesses given a 30-day permit suspension are:
- BARge 25, Seabrook
- Buford’s Backyard Beer Garden, Austin
- Burnhouse, San Antonio
- Coconuts, El Paso
- Electric Cowboy, Longview
- Elevate Night Club, McAllen
- Handlebar Houston, Houston
- Harris House of Heroes, Dallas
- Little Woodrow’s, Lubbock
- Marty’s Live, Dallas
- Siete Banderas, Laredo
- Soho Lounge, Austin
- The Cantina (W. Exchange Ave.) Ft. Worth
- The New PR’s, Fort Worth
- UnBARlievable (West 6th), Austin
- Werk Bar, El Paso
- Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Icehouse, Austin
TABC is strictly monitoring bar and restaurant activity and will pursue emergency license suspensions if there are violations that are a threat to public health and safety. TABC has the authority to suspend any license that poses a continuing threat to public welfare. The first infraction will result in up to a 30-day license suspension, and the second will result in up to a 60-day suspension.
The Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas has developed specific guidelines bars and restaurants must follow to safely restart their businesses.