AUSTIN, Texas - Twelve bars in Texas have had their alcohol permits suspended, including three bars in Austin.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's "Operation Safe Open," has found evidence to suspend three local bars and nine other bars around Texas.
The Austin bars who received the suspensions include:
- Buford's Backyard Beer Garden
- Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Icehouse
- UnBARlievable (West 6th)
Other Texas bars who received the suspensions include:
- Werk Bar, El Paso
- Marty's Live, Dallas
- Elevate Night Club, McAllen
- Handlebar Houston, Houston
- BARge 25, Seabrook
- Harris House of Heroes, Dallas
- The New PR’s, Fort Worth
- Little Woodrow’s, Lubbock
- Coconuts, El Paso
The 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.
"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."
The businesses were issued an emergency order for a 30-day permit suspension. A second infraction will result in a 60-day suspension from TABC.
"Operation Safe Open" is an undercover investigation effort to inspect businesses across Texas to ensure they're following protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Task Force to Open Texas has developed strict guidelines for bars and restaurants that must be followed to safely restart their business.
"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," TABC wrote in a press release.