57ºF

Harris County restaurant defying orders to shut down dine-in service

HOUSTON – At least one bar in Harris County appeared to be open for business Tuesday, despite orders from county Judge Lina Hidalgo to close to help mitigate and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Texas Borders Bar and Grill located off the Katy Freeway seemed not to be in compliance with Hidalgo’s county-wide order issued on Monday.

Per the order, bars and clubs in Harris County should shut down and restaurants are only permitted to offer drive-thru service, delivery and/or curbside pickup options.

According to former Texas Borders Bar and Grill employee Tara Marrocelli, the bar was open as usual.

“One of the girls who works here messaged me this morning and told me they’re still open and told me to come up here,” Marrocelli said. “We were just running errands so I thought, ‘OK let’s go have a drink!’”

According to the Texas Borders Bar and Grill Facebook page, the business would be operating as usual.

Other businesses in the plaza appear to be in compliance with the order. Jose Garcia, the managing partner of Texas Roadhouse, said Texas Borders Bar and Grill’s decision to stay open will not help anyone.

“In the long run, I think they’re going to hurt us,” Garcia said.

According to Garcia, Texas Roadhouse will now operate all 13 Houston locations with curb-side and drive-thru services only.

“We’re going to open from 12 to 8 tomorrow,” Garcia said. “Please come in and support us.”

Texas Borders Bar and Grill also has a location in Fort Bend County. That location has also been mandated to shut down. Fort Bend County Judge KP George issued a similar order to the Harris County guidelines on Tuesday evening.

“All bars, adult entertainment establishments and other business establishments that serve alcohol and do not serve food shall close,” George said.

Requests to speak with Texas Borders Bar and Grill owner, Kellie Mesler went unanswered.

It is unclear what, if any, penalty business owners who do not comply with county-wide orders will face.

According to Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls, they will treat each incident on a case by case basis.