Bar owners forced to closed during the pandemic gets evicted for past due commercial rent

Businesses struggling to stay open
Businesses struggling to stay open

HOUSTON – Restaurants and bars across the state of Texas are hemorrhaging their businesses due to COVID-19.

They’ve been shut down, partially re-opened, and in the case of bars shut down once more. Some businesses have even had to close for good due to the financial strain, said Kelsey Erickson Streufert, vice president of Government Relations and Advocacy for the Texas Restaurant Association.

“When our small businesses close they’re no longer paying taxes to the state and so you see this shrinking of the economy,” Erickson Streufert said.

Bar owner Allan Nicholson lost his eviction hearing Tuesday in Justice of The Peace Court in Spring. Judge Lincoln Goodwin ruled that Nicholson must vacate Nose Dive Bar within 15 days. The disabled combat veteran turned bar owner was behind nearly three-months rent totaling $8,815.

Nicholson was served an eviction notice earlier this month by Gach LLC.

“They basically said because I haven’t paid the rent they don’t want to take my rent,” Nicholson said. “I have the federal money and I offered to pay and they just straight up told the judge we don’t want the money we want him out.”

Nicholson said without customers or revenue coming in he could only afford to make partial payments. That wasn’t enough for him to save his bar which he poured his life savings into.

“Business is business. I went in knowing the risk but how horrible is it that there were probably 40 other evictions happening for people in apartments,” Nicholson said.