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June 19, 2020

Alcohol Permits for Three Bars Suspended During Operation Safe Open

Agency's efforts focus on public safety during pandemic

AUSTIN — On the first night of Operation Safe Open, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission inspected more than 200 establishments and found evidence to suspend the permits of three bars. 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:

  • 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.

Over the last month, agents have inspected more than 3,000 locations across the state. They've found that most operators are acting responsibly and following the rules. However, businesses that jeopardize Texans' health and welfare will be shut down through license suspension or other regulatory measures.

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 Find TABC's resources for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic at

Media Contact:

Bryan Black

Director of Communications and External Relations

(512) 206-3361