raid #2

Why Is the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Still Targeting Gay Bars?


On the heels of the Ft. Worth gay bar raid comes a similar Stonewall-esque police dump on a Dallas gay bar that has all the markings of a repeat incident. You would think with all the criticsm lodged its way after sending one man to the hospital during the Ft. Worth raid on June 28, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission would’ve learned its lesson — or at least that it should hold off on things while members of Congress demanded an investigation.

But the TABC doesn’t think that way. Around the stroke of midnight on Friday night, commission officials descended upon the Dallas Eagle, a “Leather and Levi’s” nightspot. Official excuse? To make sure the bar had its proper liquor licenses.

Interestingly, just like the Rainbow Lounge in Ft. Worth, the Dallas Eagle had recently re-opened before being raided by TABC.


In the meantime, you’ll remember another iteration of Texas hospitality when police last week helpfully allowed Chico’s Tacos in El Paso to kick out two men who shared a kiss in the restaurant. Just like the bar raids, the local community isn’t having it: Protesters gathered in front of the restaurant over the weekend, smooches in full view.

(Photos: Dallas Voice, El Paso Times)

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  • Chase

    “Why Is the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Still Targeting Gay Bars?”

    Because you fucking live in Texas, that’s why!

    Texas = Homophobic redneck central. I know this first hand and got out ASAP!

  • Furonda Brown

    Not exactly sure that’s up to Stonewall levels. A logical explanation is already given in your article – a bar reopened and was serving liquor which requires a special license. The TABC did their job to make surethat they had the license. Now, if you can definitively prove that only the gay-centric establishments of all thebars that opened or reopened in the Dallas-Fort Worth area inthe past few weeks were being targeted then you’d have me. However, I refuse to give in to such supposition. OOOH. THey went into a bar to see if they had a license during prime drinking hours. When alcohol is being served. That does rate up there.

  • galefan2004

    @Furonda Brown: It has been my experience when these bars change their names to magically “re-open” with completely new management and a new name that they have a back story of corruption to begin with. As you said though, if they can prove that no straight bar has ever dealt with a liquor license check which I don’t even believe is remotely true then there is a story. Until then there is jumping to false conclusions.

  • Chance

    Here we go again, the boys who cried “Stonewall.” It’s going to be incredibly hard to get anyone to take real anti-gay discrimination seriously if we continue to cry outrage over non-events like the Eagle inspection.

    The TABC is anti-alcohol, that’s their job, that’s what they do, and they hit plenty of straight bars. And you know what? The Eagle, which had just moved to a larger location, didn’t have it’s liquor license in order. They hadn’t changed the address. So the TABC told them to get their shit together, and suspended liquor sales for the, what, half hour it took to do that?


    Then an Eagle bartender served an undercover minor? And the TABC had the audacity to close the bar? Just like they would with any other?


    Guys, look, to the majority of Americans still believe what their religions have told them – that gays are sinful, abnormal, and wrong. Shouldn’t we be focusing on that instead of routine bar checks? I don’t think that kids who struggle with coming out cry themselves to sleep because the TABC might close down a leather bar.

  • Furonda Brown

    @galefan2004: Thank you. I wish some people would stop being hyper sensitive. Do you think we cry Stonewall everytime a bar here gets raided in NYC?

  • galefan2004

    @Furonda Brown: I think I have known one bar in the 12 years that I have been out that has been raided in Ohio. That bar allowed a woman to leave with an open bar tab (which is illegal in Ohio) and she got killed on the way home. That bar was raided and shut down. It changed its name and opened under new management about two weeks later.

    Hell, even when there was a murder in the parking lot of one of the bars I went to the bar itself was not investigated. However, lets cry foul every time a state liquor agency does its job just because it was a gay bar. They do this shit to straight bars all the time but no one says crap about it.

  • Dabq

    Because they know they can get away with it until they get sued out of the hate and homophobia, and they still think they are some sort of Republic, it would be good if Texas did leave the Union.

  • Jeremy

    TABC need to release the names of their thugs so that the gay community can individualy express their “appreciation” for the “service” rendered.

    There needs to be jail terms for these thugs targeting honest businesses and attempting murder on bar patrons without provocation. Dozens of witnesses countered their lies with truth.

    If the TABC leadership in the area is so out of control of their officers, it needs to be replaced as well.

  • petted

    It doesn’t take that many people to check and see if your alcohol service license is up to date as they’re always displayed out it the open in the bar itself and two usually when you get a license for anything there’s a record of so appropriate licensing status can be determined without going to the bar however compliance is another story however again compliance can be determined by someone undercover with backup on hand to pick up any one who’s overly inebriated but then again that require foresight and planning.

  • Brian

    No Raid.
    No Stonewall 2009.
    Put away your markers!

    The following are the statements from the Onwers of the Eagle Bar and the TABC:

    1) Statement from the Eagle Owners:

    The problems at the Dallas Eagle on Friday night, July 10, 2009, were predicated on misinformation, and/or lack thereof, we received from the agent we had hired to expedite our licensing process. Regardless, the permits were not in order; and we take full responsibility for this. We would like to apologize to or customers, our employees, and the community at large. We would also like to extend our sincere apologies to the employees at TABC and the Dallas Police Department for the adverse press they have had to endure for simply doing their duty. Neither of these agencies, in any way harassed or threatened us. Their behavior throughout was polite and organized. They were acting on a compliant, which by law, they are required to do. Sadly, we were informed these calls were placed by a competitor. The calls were placed through Austin (for TABC) and through the District Attorney’s office here (for DPD) indicating someone with well placed connections. Once again, this was a licensing error on our part, nothing more.

    On a broader note, it is enough that our community has to deal with discrimination on a daily basis without having to worry about elements within our own community. This, to our minds, is the real story here.
    We thank all of you for your love and support.
    We are open for business at the old location until ALL appropriate documentation is in hand.

    2) The Official Statement from the TABC:

    On July 10, 2009, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) licensing division in Austin Headquarters received an anonymous complaint that Dallas Eagle (Permit #MB254723) had changed locations without transferring their permit. The Dallas Eagle permit is issued for 2515 Inwood Road, Dallas, Texas. The complaint alleged that they were having a “grand opening” at 5740 Maple in Dallas.

    TABC licenses and permits are specific to certain owners and specific locations. The Dallas Eagle had applied for a change of address and change of officer on July 7, 2009, but the application processing was not complete, and the Dallas Eagle did not have a permit for the new location.

    On July 10, at approximately 9:50pm, upon arriving at 5740 Maple to investigate the complaint, TABC agents learned that the Dallas Police Department had also received a complaint and were planning to work the location in an undercover capacity. TABC agents left the location and returned later to seize the alcoholic beverages being sold.

    TABC agents were not wearing masks, and agents did not make any arrests or issue any criminal citations at Dallas Eagle. TABC did not “close down” the bar, but agents did advise the permit holders that they could not sell alcoholic beverages at that location.

    TABC intends to take administrative action against the permit holder for sale of alcoholic beverages away from the licensed premises (Section 11.06 Alcoholic Beverage Code). The Dallas Eagle could have their permit suspended for 3-5 days or receive a fine (in lieu of suspension) ranging from $900-$1,500.

    TABC will continue to work with Dallas Eagle to process their application to transfer their permit to the new location.

    From the Alcoholic Beverage Code: Sec. 11.06. Privileges Limited to Licensed Premises. No person may use a permit or exercise any privileges granted by the permit except at the place, address, premises, or location for which the permit is issued, except as otherwise provided by this code.

  • f123

    Its not a gay thing,The Eagle didnt renew their liquor license,end of story , stop over reacting

  • galefan2004

    @Jeremy: Dozens of witnesses that are pre-programed to hate authority that just so happened to be drunk off their asses at the time.

  • jason

    Look, I have no problem with the authorities checking on gay bars to ensure they comply with regulations. Gay men’s bars mustn’t be given exemptions simply because they’re “gay”.

    On the other hand, there mustn’t be a bias against gay bars. There needs to be consistency and uniformity in how the authorities check all of the bars in Texas.

  • Andy

    Why do we need a TABC and the like? Are we under Sharia law?

Comments are closed.