Austin Public Health released a list of city bars that have received citations for COVID-19 violations since March. Interim Medical Director and Health Authority Mark Escott shared the information during the Travis County Commissioners voting session today, December 22.
Dr. Escott repeated his concerns regarding bars that are open right now with restaurant permits. “We’re seeing a growing number of cases associated with bars,” he says, “and many of the case investigations involve dialogue with the individuals saying, ‘Yes, they went to a bar or multiple bars where it was crowded, people were face-to-face dancing, and nobody was wearing a mask.’” He predicts that these habits will still happen during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, despite city-wide recommendations.
“If we could close one thing,” Dr. Escott says, “that one thing would be bars.” Dr. Escott elaborated, saying that he believes the Texas government and Travis County should “determine whether or not it’s time to close the loophole that allowed bars to reopen.”
In Texas, bars were allowed to reopen for on-site services in mid-May. As cases surged during the summer, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suddenly shuttered bars again in late June. However, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission issued an array of loopholes throughout the summer and fall allowing bars to apply for restaurant permitting so that they could reopen.
The Austin bars on this citations list received several warnings with recommendations on how to properly follow COVID-19 measures before the citations (with fines) were issued by the Austin Fire Marshal. Dr. Escott noted that the city plans on updating the list as future citations are issued.
Four of the cited bars — Concrete Cowboy, Play on West Sixth, Soho Lounge, and the Venue — received multiple citations in October and November. There were many additional citations issued on Halloween to Play, Soho, and Venue (all again), and Rio. Unbarlievable’s West Sixth location received a citation in early October. Over the summer, this location’s liquor permit was temporarily suspended in June by the TABC for COVID-19 violations.
Three of these citations — Dirty Bill’s, Pour Choices, and Scrathouse — were issued before bars and restaurants were ordered to halt all on-site services on March 17 by the city. Since then, Scratchouse has closed permanently.
Find the full list with citation dates below, listed in reverse chronological based on the venue’s earliest issued citation.
400 East Sixth Street, Downtown
708 East Sixth Street, Downtown
10503 North Lamar Boulevard, North Lamar
The Library Bar
407 East Sixth Street, Downtown
706 West Sixth Street, Downtown
4th & Co.
208 West Fourth Street, Unit D, Downtown
215 East Sixth Street, Downtown
77 Degrees and the Rose Room
11500 Rock Rose Avenue, Domain Northside
415 East Sixth Street, Downtown
601 Rio Grande Street, Downtown
Play on West Sixth
620 West Sixth Street, Downtown
October 25, twice on October 31
Recess Arcade Bar
222 East Sixth Street, Downtown
78 Rainey Street, Downtown
Concrete Cowboy Bar
719 West Sixth Street, Downtown
October 17 and 18
217 East Sixth Street, Downtown
October 14, October 31, November 14, December 13
516 East Sixth Street
October 11 and 31
512 on Sixth
408 East Sixth, Downtown
413 East Sixth Street, Downtown
411 East Sixth Street, Downtown
419 East Sixth Street, Downtown
513 West Sixth Street, Downtown
Yellow Jacket Social Club
1704 East Fifth Street, East Austin
511 Rio Grande Street, Downtown
401 East Sixth Street, Downtown
617 East Seventh Street, Downtown
- City of Austin COVID19 Citations [City of Austin]