Following an eventful and controversial weekend of events, three Houston-area businesses have had their liquor permits suspended following Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission investigations that discovered violations of state requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the agency announced.
Emergency suspension orders were handed out to these businesses, per the TABC:
Houston Grooves LLC (Grooves, 2300 Pierce St.)
- 30-day suspension
- Violation date: January 16
2301 Entertainment LLC (Clé, 2301 Main St.)
- 60-day suspension issued Jan. 19
- Previous suspension issued September 8, 2020 (30 days)
- Violation date: January 16-17
Spire Reception Hall LLC (Spire, 1720 Main St.)
- 90-day suspension issued Jan. 19
- Previous suspensions issued July 1, 2020 (30 days) and October 20, 2020 (60 days)
- Violation date: January 17
These three businesses are accused of violating Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32. That order requires businesses that sell alcohol for on-premise consumption to comply with capacity limits as well as social distancing and facial covering requirements.
Emergency orders remain in effect pending the end of the suspension or a judge’s ruling. These businesses are entitled to a hearing before a state administrative judge to affirm the TABC decision, per an agency statement.
As CultureMap reported, Spire and Clé are embroiled in controversy following two massive weekend events put on by promoter Larry Morrow. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, in response to the events starring Trey Songz (Spire; which spurred a shutdown by the Houston Fire Department) and Bow Wow (Cle), called on a crackdown on businesses he feels are skirting the line between club and restaurant.
“I’m still getting some disturbing pictures of people hanging out in clubs that have been recategorized as restaurants,” Turner said on January 16. “And let me tell you, they are not restaurants.”
In response, Clé owner Zack Truesdell called foul on perceived disparity in scrutiny and reporting. “I see the Clé party that made national news and I see the Spire party. It’s always just videos of Black folks,” Truesdell told ABC13. “And I'm just not sure why that is when I know you go out to places and you see white folks partying and having a great time as well.”
A representative for Clé and Spire did not immediately return CultureMap’s request for comment.
CultureMap will update this story as it develops.