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Liquor licenses suspended for 3 Houston clubs over COVID-19 violations

Chron logo Chron 1/20/2021 Alison Medley
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Packed Houston clubs that violated COVID-19 protocols received a stern warning this weekend in the form of liquor permit suspensions from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. TABC officials discovered several violations of Texas COVID-19 safety measures this past weekend that merited heightened scrutiny and punishment.

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According to the TABC, emergency suspension orders have now been issued to the following three Houston clubs:

Spire Reception Hall LLC (Spire), 1720 Main Street, Houston

  • 90-day suspension issued January 19
  • Previous suspensions issued July 1, 2020 (30 days) and October 20, 2020 (60 days)

Houston Grooves LLC (Grooves), 2300 Pierce Street, Houston

  • 30-day suspension
  • Violation date: January 16

Clé (2301 Entertainment), 2301 Main Street, Houston

  • 60-day suspension issued January 19
  • Previous suspension September 8, 2020 (3 days)
  • Violation date: January 16-17

Club owners are specifically accused of violating Gov. Greg Abbott's GA-32 executive order, which requires businesses selling alcohol for on-premise consumption must comply with capacity limits in addition to social distancing and face mask requirements.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner voiced his concerns about crowded clubs and bars pushing the limits of capacity after recategorizing as restaurants.

"It's a social setting, and it also becomes a super spreader," Turner said. "The best way to deal with that is to not allow clubs and bars to re-characterize themselves as restaurants and recognize they are who they are. And they are not going to change."

According to the TABC, the businesses are entitled to a hearing before the state administrative judge, but emergency orders remain effective until the end of the suspension or a judge's ruling.


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