The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended seven bars' alcohol permits for 30 days after they refused to comply with an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott requiring that bars cease operations to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The order, issued by Abbott on June 26, requires all bars earning at least 51% of their revenue from sales of alcohol to suspend operations. Restaurants earning less than 51% of their revenue from alcohol sales may continue to operate at 50% of their indoor seating capacity. Businesses that do not comply with the order face up to a 30-day suspension of their license to sell alcohol for the first violation, followed by up to a 60-day suspension for the second violation. Continued violations could result in additional penalties, including cancellation of the business' alcohol license or permit.
TABC agents visited nearly 1,500 businesses across the state June 26-28 to ensure compliance with the order. Of those, 59 were operating in violation of the governor's order, with 52 agreeing to immediately cease operations after TABC's visit. The remaining seven businesses did not agree to suspend operations and were issued 30-day suspensions of their permit. These businesses include:
Two other locations' permits were suspended June 26 and were previously announced by TABC:
"We know this is an extremely difficult time for our state's bar owners and we sympathize with all of the owners, operators and employees who are hurting during this pandemic," TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. "It's the duty of all Texans to do what's necessary to prevent the spread of this disease. Taking these steps now will help ensure a quicker re-opening once this pandemic has passed."