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Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Suspends Nightclub’s License After Viral Video Shows Patrons Ignoring Social Distancing Rules

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AUSTIN, TX (CelebrityAccess) — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended the license of a Houston venue after a video showing it packed with capacity crowds last week went viral.

According to ABC affiliate KTRK, the Spire Nightclub was suspended on June 27 for 30 days for violations of social distancing rules found during an inspection.

While bars in Texas have been closed due to an order by state governor Greg Abbott, the owners of the Spire Nightclub maintain that, despite its name, the business operates as a reception hall as more than 50% of its er

“Back in November of 2019, the main owner had come to the realization that he no longer owned a bar,” Bret Hightower, a consultant told KTRK. “He owned a lounge/venue hall because most of the revenue was not coming from alcohol or liquor sales. It was coming from ticket sales, and then to be able to reserve your own private section.”

While most of The Spire’s revenue this year has come from liquor sales, the licenses are only reviewed every two years.

“We’re as a business legally allowed to open. We’re following the rules, we’re doing everything,” Hightower added. “Sometimes people don’t know they’re putting themselves at risk. I feel like it’s our job to be the bigger person and really force their hand to keep them safe.”

The Spire was one of multiple businesses cited by TABC and inspectors reported that 59 venues across the state were discovered by inspectors to be operating outside of social distancing requirements.

Of those venues,  52 agreed to immediately cease operations after TABC’s visit. The remaining seven businesses did not agree to suspend operations and were issued 30-day suspensions of their permit.

Venues include:

  • Black Stone USA, Fredericksburg
  • Bokeeters Cocktail Bar, New Caney
  • Prospect Park, Houston
  • The Park @ The Domain, Austin
  • The Venue Private Club, Wills Point

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