Notorious Downtown nightclub Spire, which went viral in June for hosting massive parties even after Houston bars were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, has had its liquor license temporarily suspended by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Three other bars in Houston — Lux Lounge, Sol Billares, and The Standard, have also had their licenses suspended. For first-time offenders, the suspension will last 30 days.
The emergency suspensions are the result of a weeklong investigation undertaken by TABC, in which agents inspected businesses across Texas to ensure they’re following state standards to slow the spread of the virus. These requirements include indoor customer capacity limits of 50% for bars and 75% for restaurants, along with social distancing of at least 6 feet between groups of customers. Agents conducted 1,344 inspections over the last week. Six establishments total — including two in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — had their licenses suspended.
“These violations represent a very small number of the more than 20,000 licensed businesses inspected by TABC since the beginning of May,” TABC Chairman Kevin J. Lilly said in a press release. “A large majority of business owners are showing their commitment to keeping customers and employees safe, and we’re grateful for all of their hard work. TABC is committed to assisting the industry as we all work for a safe Texas.”
It’s not the first time Cle Group, the owners of Spire, have been chastised for refusing to follow social distancing guidelines. In addition to the viral incident at Spire in June, the group’s pool party bar Cle went viral in May for hosting massive, crowded gatherings, just days after Texas Governor Gregg Abbott allowed bars to reopen — at 25% capacity — for the first time. The June incident landed Spire on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s coronavirus Wall of Shame.