3 Dallas restaurants busted by TABC; liquor licenses suspended over coronavirus concerns

Story updated November 5, 2020; see updates below

Three restaurants in Dallas this week suspended their liquor licenses from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. TABC documents say the companies have violated Governor Greg Abbott’s instructions regarding coronavirus safety.

El Globo Taqueria on Llewellyn Avenue in Oak Cliff was not operating according to social distancing requirements, and its employees and customers were not wearing masks, according to TABC documents.

Wok Hard, a new Chinese restaurant on Elm Street in Deep Ellum, also violated the governor’s mask order and social distancing requirements. Wok Hard opened as a ghost kitchen in April, but has recently expanded as a restaurant and bar.

CJ’s billiards and sports bar on Military Parkway in South Dallas operated as an open and non-food and beverage certified bar. Dallas County bars must remain closed, Judge Clay Jenkins said.

According to TABC spokesman Chris Porter, companies found violating will not be able to offer alcohol for 30 days. However, some restaurateurs work out a lighter penalty with TABC.

[Update on Nov. 5, 2020: Wok Hard reached a settlement with TABC. It can sell alcohol seven days a week now, but it has to stop alcohol sales at 1 a.m. on Saturdays and midnight every other night. Wok Hard’s manager says the restaurant and bar has instituted a new policy of “no seat, no entry.” They hope it helps keep patrons sitting down and complying with the governor’s executive orders.]

“The goal is to get these companies to voluntarily adhere to state guidelines and allow them to operate safely,” Porter said in an email.

The agency has suspended liquor licenses from six other North Texas companies in the past two weeks. The punishment doesn’t mean a company has to close for 30 days, but some restaurateurs choose to do so.

TABC agents have visited more than 20,000 companies since July 1. According to Bentley Nettles, Executive Director of TABC, TABC’s goal is “to educate the industry and the public on how to stay safe while helping to reopen the Texan economy”.

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