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Texas Agents “Raid” Dallas Gay Bar

Jim Burroway

July 11th, 2009

I’m putting “raid” in quotes because reportedly that’s how a local television station described it, but so far there are no reports of arrests or injuries. Agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission visited the Dallas Eagle last night and shut it down sometime before midnight. Last night was the opening night at the Eagle’s new address, and TABC reportedly went because of a discrepancy between the new address and the one listed on the Eagle’s liquor license.

Tammye Nash at the Dallas Voice was careful to say that local NBC television station KXAS is calling the action a “raid.” (KXAS hasn’t posted the story on their web site yet.) When I lived in Dallas ten years ago, KXAS Channel 5 tended to be among the more sensationalistic of the local newscasts. They had this gimmick of calling themselves “The Texas News Channel,” with an absurd emphasis on Texas in all of their stories. I remember once they reported that a plane crashed somewhere but no Texans were on board. That was a long time ago; they may very well have changed since then. I see that they are no longer “The Texas News Channel,” but just NBC 5. As we learn more, we may find out that this is a real deal. But for now I’m taking the word “raid” with a massive grain of salt.

Update:
Were TABC agents wearing “Ninja masks”? Tammye Nash is trying to sort fact from fiction and will have more later.

Comments

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Richard W. Fitch
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

Looks like a suspension of business due to a technicality. The bar had just moved into a new building on the other side of the parking lot from the old location. The legal address was no longer correct. Did they need to be shutdown -or- should they have been given a warning/citation to correct the license within [X] hours?? Another DFW gay bar under the wrath of TABC.

Lindoro Almaviva
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

I wonder how much of this is the TABC using legal tactics for intimidation. This is hard to prove because it sounds as if there were actual discrepancies, but,is the TABC behaving like this with all bars or just the gay ones? Are they this brutal when they do a routine inspection if a ti ti bar, or just those where gay patrons go to?

And once again, where is the ACLU and Lambda legal? (At least we know that Lambda is trying to elbow their way to a lawsuit they called “premature and dangerous”?

Jim Burroway
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

If it’s true that the Dallas Eagle didn’t update its license when it moved, that could have been a big deal to the TABC. Indeed, that’s a huge deal with most states, as liquor and club licenses are often allocated based on geographic location, among many factors. Some have restrictions concerning proximity to schools, churches, etc.

When I was in high school in Ohio, my parents ran a neighborhood grocery store that also sold alcohol. We had to take deliveries on alcoholic beverages through the front door because the back door where we otherwise took deliveries was too close to a church. This would have placed us in technical violation of an Ohio law that barred businesses from selling alcohol within a certain distance of a pre-existing church without the church’s consent. The distance was calculated based on the location of the entrance(s) of the business in which alcohol either entered or exited. The church was a Nazarene church, and there’s no way they would have waived the rule. Moving the entire business even a few feet without updating the liquor license would have gotten us shut down immediately.

It may seem like a tedious technicality, but it can quickly escalate to a big deal. I’m surprised the managers and owners of the Dallas Eagle would have overlooked this. Did they, or was there a problem on the TABC’s end?

I’m still waiting for more information before jumping to conclusions, but based on prior history this does bear close scrutiny. TABC haven’t shown themselves to be at all trustworthy.

Dan
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

There were two undercover officers that wore masks to conceal their identities. One wore a black mask and the other wore a red bandanna type mask: only their eyes were visible.

One person was taken into custody. I believe that they were arrested for PI (Public Intoxication).

All liquor and beer bottles were opened and poured down the drain.

Richard W. Fitch
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

According to info from Dallas’ Instant Tea, [ http://www.dallasvoice.com/instant-tea/ ], the bar had moved about 100 yds across a parking lot from its previous location. The Grand Opening had been delayed several/a few times to clear up the license issues. At some point prior to the “raid”, an underage assistant to TABC had been served. Lots of little bits and pieces that will take time to sift out. Overall, it still sounds like harassment despite their defense of upholding “The Law”.

david
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

so, after reading these posts… I shared some of the info with a texan know it all, who said ‘that will close them down for 30 days’
so, is that possible? or will the bar be closed til a new temp licence can be issued and then replaced when the ‘offical one’ is recieved?

thanks for any answers

david

jim
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

All of our United States ABC rules are stupid. I dunno what else to say. Thanks.

Swampfox
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

The rules in South Carolina are just as stupid. I know of someone who moved a wine/liquor store from the front to the back of the shopping center. They had to go through the entire process of getting the new location approved and inspected by the state authorities.

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