HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston Fire Marshal’s Office along with the Houston Police Department shut down a bar Saturday night for violating COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the Houston Police Department, there were around 200 to 300 people inside the bar, identified as La Fogata, at around 10:30 p.m. when authorities arrived.
One person was arrested for public intoxication.
Authorities gave the bar owner a warning.
The incident happened less than a day after Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Executive Director Bentley Nettles in a letter warned bar owners that the agency would suspend licenses and shut down bars that remain open in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s shutdown order.
“The governor’s executive order is the current law of the state, and TABC will enforce it, as will other state and local government entities,” wrote Nettles. “When a business tells TABC it doesn’t intend to follow these orders, you leave the agency with no option but to revoke your license and shut you down.”
Abbot’s executive order, which went into effect in late June, shut down the state’s bars and other businesses that derive 51% or more of their revenue from the sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption. Before Abbot’s order, bars had been able to operate at 50 percent capacity.
“While progress has been made, many challenges remain,” wrote Nettles. “The biggest challenge I see lies with industry members who choose to operate in violation of the governor’s executive order.”
TABC said that Texans can report a potential violation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 888-THE-TABC, or using the free TABC: Mobile app for Apple and Android devices. To view TABC’s guidance for the alcoholic beverage industry, visit www.tabc.texas.gov/coronavirus.