AUSTIN (KFDX/KJTL)— Following a weekend of undercover operations, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found evidence to suspend the permits of 17 bars and restaurants.
Operation Safe Open is an effort by TABC agents to inspect businesses across Texas to ensure they’re following protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19.
These requirements include indoor customer capacity limits of 50% for bars and 75% for restaurants, along with social distancing of at least 6 feet between groups of customers.
“These violations represent a very small number of the 3,500 licensed businesses inspected by TABC since the beginning of May,” TABC Chairman Kevin J. Lilly said. “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.”
“Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “I’m incredibly proud of all the TABC employees working to ensure Texas bars and restaurants are able to operate safely. Our goal from the start has been to educate business owners about the requirements of the Governor’s executive order, and our Enforcement, Legal and Communications teams have done outstanding work to keep the industry and the public informed on ways to stay safe while helping to reopen the Texas economy.”
The businesses issued an emergency order for a 30-day permit suspension are:
· Burnhouse, San Antonio
· The Cantina (W. Exchange Ave.), Fort Worth
· Soho Lounge, Austin
· Siete Banderas, Laredo
· Electric Cowboy, Longview
· Handlebar Houston, Houston
· BARge 295, Seabrook
· Harris House of Heroes, Dallas
· The New PR’s, Fort Worth
· UnBARlievable (West 6th), Austin
· Little Woodrow’s, Lubbock
· Coconuts, El Paso
· Buford’s Backyard Beer Garden, Austin
· Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Icehouse, Austin
· Werk Bar, El Paso
· Marty’s Live, Dallas
· Elevate Night Club, McAllen
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 the 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.
To see the guidelines and learn more about the governor’s efforts to reopen Texas, visit open.texas.gov. Find TABC’s resources for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic at tabc.texas.gov/coronavirus.