Bar owners threaten to sue Texas over COVID-19 closing

Talk 1370 Newsroom
June 28, 2020 - 1:37 pm

    AUSTIN ( -- A trade group representing Texas bar owners says it plans to file suit against the State of Texas after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to close Friday to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    The Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance, in a Facebook post and message to its members, called Abbott's order "irresponsible and shameful" and urges its members to exercise their "constitutional right to protest" by keeping businesses open.

    The group says it will seek a restraining order on behalf of all 51% licenses in both state and federal court to "end the Governor's overreach."

    Saturday, officials with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission reported that its agents inspected 628 establishments Friday evening, finding 30 that were operating against Abbott's executive order. 28 of those voluntarily closed their doors; two refused to comply and were issued 30-day suspensions of their TABC permits.

    TBNA, in its Facebook post, says its members have been "once again unjustly been indefinitely closed without one shred of scientific evidence that bars and nightclubs pose any more of a public health hazard than a restaurant, grocery store, big box retailer, convenience store, health club, hair salon or the many of other business segments that cater to the public throughout the state of Texas."

    Under Abbott's orders, any establishment that receives more than 51 percent of its sales from alcohol had to close their doors by noon on Friday. They can remain open for take-out and delivery if they meet certain qualifications, including serving mixed drinks under a new waiver issued Saturday by Abbott. Restaurants have to limit their dine-in capacity to 50 percent beginning Monday.


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