AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended the permits of 17 bars and restaurants in Texas for not following health and safety protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19. Four of those bars are located in Austin.
Soho Lounge, UnBARlievable on West 6th, Buford's Backyard Beer Garden and Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot Icehouse all have had their permits suspended for 30 days.
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“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.”
TABC says that following a weekend of undercover operations, agents found evidence to suspend the permits as part of Operation Safe Open, an effort to inspect businesses across Texas to ensure they’re following protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19. The protocols include indoor customer capacity limits of 50 percent for bars and 75 percent for restaurants, along with social distancing of at least 6 feet between groups of customers.
All the Texas businesses that had their permits suspended this past weekend 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 says it 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. To see the guidelines and learn more about the governor’s efforts to reopen Texas, click here. For the TABC’s resources for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, click here.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.