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Fort Worth coffeehouse-lounge gets liquor license suspended by TABC

Fort Worth coffeehouse-lounge gets liquor license suspended by TABC

They serve both coffee and cocktails. Photo courtesy of Ampersand

A Fort Worth coffeehouse got its license suspended by The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for not following COVID-19 safety protocols.

According to an October 20 press release, Ampersand, the novel coffeehouse-lounge concept located in the West Seventh District, will not be able to sell alcohol to the public for 30 days. Ampersand, which serves both coffee and cocktails at that location, was one of six establishments across the state of Texas whose licenses were suspended.

Ampersand has a second location near TCU but it does not serve alcohol.

Both locations will remain open, according to a statement from their management.

"The health and safety of our guests is truly important to us," it says. "Our current protocol includes required temperature checks and masks for all employees and guests. Our tables are spaced 6 feet apart and we have multiple sanitizing stations. Social distancing is enforced. We have a professional cleaning crew that provides deep cleaning daily."

"Our bar operations at our Bledsoe location will be temporarily be closed for the month, however both coffee locations will be operational. We will use this experience to improve our operations further as we navigate through the current challenges our industry and world are facing. Thank you to all our loyal customers."

TABC inspected over 1,300 bars and restaurants in the last week as part of its continuing efforts to ensure permit holders are following proper guidelines regarding capacity limits and social distancing. Four establishments in Houston also had their licenses suspended as a result of the recent inspections.

"These violations represent a very small number of the more than 20,000 licensed businesses inspected by TABC since the beginning of May," said TABC chairman Kevin J. Lilly in a statement. "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."

Gov. Greg Abbott allowed bars to reopen at 50-percent capacity beginning October 14 — a ruling that was supported byTarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. Many bars have also taken advantage of changes in TABC rules allowing them to operate as restaurants.

The commission performed similar enforcement actions when Abbott allowed bars to reopen in June. At that time, two Dallas bars, Harris House of Heroes and Marty's Live, had their licenses suspended.