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Cincinnati District bar shut down for virus violations, allowed to reopen after making deal with state

Rockin' Cigar Bar and Grill
The Rockin' Cigar Bar and Grill in El Paso's Cincinnati District.

EL PASO, Texas -- More than a month ago, the Rockin' Cigar Bar and Grill in El Paso's Cincinnati Entertainment District was shut down for violating the Covid-19 occupancy regulations.

Owner of Rockin' Cigar Frank Ricci Jr. told ABC-7 they were in violation of the rules.

"We were out of bounds," Ricci said. "There really was no excuse to have that happen at that time, but we've taken full responsibility."

After serving half of the two-month suspension, they have a deal with the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission allowing them to reopen.

Chris Porter, spokesperson for the TABC, said they have reached a settlement.

"Because they agreed to the terms of our settlement, we chose to essentially suspend the remainder of their suspension and allow them to resume operations," Porter said.

Rockin' Cigar must close at midnight for 30 days, they need to space out the tables 6 feet apart and add a hand sanitizer station near the front door.

"One thing that we let them know is we are obviously going to be keeping a further eye on them and any further violations will result in the whole suspension coming back," Porter said.

TABC is willing to work with any business to make sure their doors remain open.

"We want to give bars an opportunity to resume operations and bring in revenue as long as the can abide by the terms TABC lays out," Porter said.

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.



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