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TABC: Van Zandt Co. bar has license suspended for refusing to comply with COVID-19 executive order

The Venue Private Club is the third East Texas bar the TABC has taken action against.
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Refreshing Dark and Stormy Cocktail on a Bar

WILLS POINT, Texas — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended The Venue Private Club's alcohol permit for 30 days after the TABC says they refused to comply with an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott requiring that bars cease operations to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Venue Private Club, which is located in Wills Point, is one of seven bars affected by the TABC's most recent order. They are also the third East Texas bar the TABC has taken action against.

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The order, issued by Gov. Abbott on June 26, requires all bars earning at least 51% of their revenue from sales of alcohol to suspend operations. Restaurants earning less than 51% of their revenue from alcohol sales may continue to operate at 50% of their indoor seating capacity. Businesses that do not comply with the order face up to a 30-day suspension of their license to sell alcohol for the first violation, followed by up to a 60-day suspension for the second violation. Continued violations could result in additional penalties, including cancellation of the business’ alcohol license or permit.

TABC agents visited nearly 1,500 business across the state June 26-28 to ensure compliance with the order. Of those, 59 were operating in violation of the governor’s order, with 52 agreeing 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.

In addition to The Venue Private Club, other bars that had their permits suspended are:

  • Black Stone USA, Fredericksburg
  • Bokeeters Cocktail Bar, New Caney
  • Prospect Park, Houston
  • The Park @ The Domain, Austin

“We know this is an extremely difficult time for our state’s bar owners and we sympathize with all of the owners, operators and employees who are hurting during this pandemic,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. “It’s the duty of all Texans to do what’s necessary to prevent the spread of this disease. Taking these steps now will help ensure a quicker re-opening once this pandemic has passed.”

Texans can report a potential violation by emailing complaints@tabc.texas.gov, 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  tabc.texas.gov/coronavirus.