12 Texas bars temporarily lose alcohol permits after violating COVID-19 health protocols, officials say

Bars failed to implement social distancing and monitor indoor capacity limits, according to TABC

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A dozen Texas bars have had their alcohol permits suspended as of Sunday by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for allegedly violating health protocols that can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

TABC officers said all 12 bars failed to comply with protocols mandated by the state to limit the spread of the virus, including not meeting indoor capacity limits and not implementing social distancing measures for large groups of customers.

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TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said that the department and the state has zero tolerance for establishments violating the state’s mandates.

“Protecting the health and safety of Texans during this pandemic is our top priority,” Nettles said in a statement. “We warned businesses (that) 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.”

These 30-day permit suspensions were issued for the following bars:

Sunday, June 21:

  • Handlebar Houston, Houston
  • BARge 25, Seabrook
  • Harris House of Heroes, Dallas
  • The New PR’s, Fort Worth
  • UnBARlievable (West 6th), Austin
  • Little Woodrow’s, Lubbock
  • Coconuts, El Paso

Saturday, June 20:

  • Buford’s Backyard Beer Garden, Austin
  • Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Icehouse, Austin

Friday, June 19:

  • Werk Bar, El Paso
  • Marty’s Live, Dallas
  • Elevate Night Club, McAllen

TABC has the authority to suspend any license that poses a continuing threat to public welfare.

The first violation will result in up to a 30-day license suspension, and the second will result in up to a 60-day suspension, TABC said.

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The standards for operating bars in Texas were drafted by Governor Greg Abbott’s Strike Force to Open Texas.

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.