Dozens of Austin bars fined for violating COVID-19 safety rules

Austin and Travis Counties are back at Level 5 – the highest risk for the COVID-19 community – and more than two dozen Austin bars are in hot water for violating local and state safety regulations.

According to Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Medical Director and Health Authority, such violations have directly contributed to an increase in local COVID-19 cases among young populations.

“Unfortunately, we have a lot of bars that are not doing well and contributing to these cases,” Escott said during a session of the Travis County Commission Court on December 22nd. “So if we could close one thing, that one thing would be Bars.” I think we need to look at this. I think the state needs to look back at this and decide if it’s time to fill the void that will allow bars to reopen. “

The city of Austin released a list of bars – most of which are on Sixth Street – that have received at least one quote from the firefighter since early October, with several more than one incurred, leading to bars being quoted and with one The violations were fined. Escott notes that the fines could have been avoided had the bars heeded previous warnings from law enforcement officials.

“In order to get a quote, there are several warnings that continue with recommendations to mitigate and avoid quoting,” he said.

Austin fines cited recently for COVID-19 violations include:

  • Concrete Cowboy, 719 W. Sixth St. (two quotes since October)

  • Play, 620 W. Sixth St. (three quotes since October)

  • Rio, 601 Rio Grande St.

  • Unbarlievable, 513 W. Sixth St.

  • Wyld, 706 W. Sixth St.

  • Burnsides, 413 E Sixth St.

  • Dijou, 415 E. Sixth St.

  • Library, 407 E. Fourth St.

  • Lit Lounge, 215 E. Sixth St.

  • Lodge, 411 E Sixth St.

  • Pour Choices, 401 Sixth St.

  • Recess, 222 E. Sixth St.

  • Soho Lounge, 217 E. Sixth St. (three violations since October)

  • Venue, 516 E. Sixth St. (four violations since October)

  • Voodoo, 419 E. Sixth St. (two violations since October)

  • 512 Club, 408 E. Sixth St.

  • 4th and Co., 208 W. Fourth St.

  • Reina, 78 Rainey St.

  • Scratchouse, 617 E. Seventh St.

  • Dirty Bills, 511 Rio Grande St.

  • Yellow Jacket Social Club, 1704 E. Fifth St.

  • 77 Degrees / Rosenzimmer, 11500 Rock Rose Ave.

  • Corona Club, 10503 N. Lamar Blvd.

  • Mala Vida, 1800 E. Sixth St.

  • Chupacabra, 708 E. Sixth St.

While it was unclear what specific rules these bars were violating, the city’s current home stay policy requires all individuals and businesses to practice “social distancing, hygiene, and face-covering behaviors.”

These violations are not the first ones Austin bars have committed during the pandemic. In June, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission found that four bars in Austin – including the West Unthlievable location on West Sixth Street and the Soho Lounge – were in violation of COVID-19 protocols and had to be closed for 30 days. Later that month, TABC suspended liquor licenses from seven bars across Texas, including Austin’s The Park at The Domain, for violating Governor Greg Abbott’s orders to close bars.

“It’s time for us as a community to really come together to mask and disassociate and do the things we know work,” Escott said. “If we can do that effectively, we can avoid further restrictions.”

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