On the second night of Operation Safe Open, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found evidence to suspend the permits of two more bars. In total, the permits of five bars have been suspended during these undercover investigations. 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.
"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 issued an emergency order for a 30-day permit suspension are:
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.