City Council Member Protests Local Bar’s TABC License Renewal | City government


The Houston Police Department has responded to several incidents of violence over the past two years at Main Street Tap & Grill, including two shootings and seven assaults. (Photo by Adam Zuvanich)

Tensions have escalated between residents of Montie Beach and a neighborhood bar and grill where nearly 200 noise complaints have been filed with the City of Houston and multiple acts of violence since the business opened in late 2019. .

Houston City Council staff member Karla Cisneros said she sided with her constituents and planned to protest the upcoming mixed drink license renewal for Main Street Tap & Grill, 4002 N. Main St. , after several shots were fired outside the business in early October 13, according to video footage a neighboring owner shared with The leader and on YouTube (attention: graphic language).

Tim Goings, a member of the Montie Beach Civic Club, and other nearby residents have said they want the bar to close or make significant changes to ensure the safety and quality of life for owners of adjacent properties.

“Whatever the residents want to see or want, she has supported the community,” said Veronica Xiloj, Director of Citizen Services at Cisneros. “So she files the protest to support them.”

Xiloj said Cisneros is in contact with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), the state agency that will decide whether to renew the Main Street Tap & Grill mixed drink license which expires on December 5, and plans to file his protest this week along with emails in support of affected residents as well as the aforementioned video footage. Some government officials at the city, county or state level, as well as those who live within 300 feet of a business, are eligible to protest the issuance of a license or permit for sell alcohol, according to TABC rules, criminal activity being a reason for refusal of a permit.

Additionally, a spokesperson for Houston Public Works said Main Street Tap & Grill received building code enforcement notices on September 27 and again on Monday regarding unauthorized seating and an occupancy charge on its. rear patio, which was converted from a parking lot during the summer of 2020 to make room for more outdoor seating, a stage and a projection TV screen. Department spokeswoman Erin Jones said the business owner was not allowed to use unauthorized areas until approved plans and permits were obtained from the city and a new certificate of occupancy had not been issued, with the possibility of issuing citations if the company did not comply.

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Two Main Street Tap & Grill employees stand on an outdoor stage awaiting the arrival of customers early last month. (Photo by Adam Zuvanich)

Greg Waligorski, co-owner of Main Street Tap & Grill, did not respond to a voicemail or text message requesting comment on this story. He said last month that the company tried to appease nearby residents by hiring armed security guards, limiting the number of live concerts to a few nights a week, and placing a large shipping container in metal in the northeast corner of the property in an attempt to contain the sound.

Waligorski also said last month that Main Street Tap & Grill is “within our legal right to do what we do.”

RELATED: Montie Beach Residents Fight Against Neighborhood Bar

A Houston Police Department service call log, obtained by The leader through an open case request, shows there were 192 loud noise complaints against Main Street Tap & Grill from Christmas Day 2019 to the end of August, including over 110 calls this year . Response officers found evidence of illegal noise levels less than 45 times, with citations being issued on at least six of these occasions.

HPD records also show that its Differential Response Team (DRT), a unit that works with community members and businesses to reduce crime and improve quality of life, made a total of 10 visits to the Main Street Tap & Grill in June, July and August. HPD spokesman Kese Smith said in September that the department was working with the company, nearby residents and the TABC to address community concerns, including over noise complaints, and said Wednesday that HPD was now taking a tougher stance on loud noise.

“We are still working with the residents, always with the TABC,” Smith said. “The novelty is that the establishment is no longer given noise warnings. When we go out, if the noise exceeds the legal limit (no more than 65 decibels during the day and 58 decibels at night), we immediately issue quotes. “

Noise is not a valid reason to deny a mixed drink permit, according to the TABC, and Goings said he and other nearby residents are more concerned about incidents of violence at or near the neighborhood bar. A man operating a steak night at Main Street Tap & Grill was injured in a shooting in the early hours of August 14, according to HPD and Waligorski. In September last year, according to a KHOU report, two men were stabbed and another was shot in a brawl that started in the bar and spilled over into the parking lot.

During a 13-month period ending in August, according to HPD files, police also responded to seven assaults, one suicide and two other incidents in which a firearm was unloaded at the business.

Video clips sent to The leader by a nearby resident shows that there were two gunshots outside the bar in early October 13, when someone fired a few shots from the driver’s side of a parked truck around 1:30 a.m. , then several shots were fired during what appeared to be an altercation around 3 a.m.

It is not known if anyone was affected by the gunfire on October 13. Smith said the HPD received two calls around 3 a.m., one for a disturbance at the scene and another regarding a suspicious person, with reported gunshots, but added no reports of breaches had not been generated because the responding officer (s) had not seen any. people or suspicious activity when arriving at the scene.

“It’s a matter of time before someone else gets shot,” Goings said. “Mark my word. “

Xiloj, the Cisneros staff member, said the council member who serves the area under District H “is keeping a close watch from all angles, whether with public works, TABC or HPD as well.” , on behalf of those concerned. residents who want to see changes in the way the business operates.

“We’ll see what happens next,” Xiloj said. “We will be monitoring this closely. “

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