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4 El Paso liquor licenses suspended for Covid-19 health order violations

Bob Moore/El Paso Matters
Makeshift barriers blocked entry to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a West El Paso bar that had its liquor license suspended.

EL PASO, Texas -- Four El Paso bars and restaurants had their liquor licenses suspended by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission last week for violating Covid-19 health orders.

The actions were part of an enforcement surge by TABC as Covid-19 cases exploded and health officials blamed violations of health orders in bars and restaurants as a contributing factor. The vast majority of businesses visited by TABC agents showed no violations of emergency health orders, according to data provided by the agency.

“TABC deployed the additional agents to El Paso for the week of Oct. 26-Nov. 1; they returned to their normal duty stations on Nov. 2,” agency spokesman Chris Porter said. “During that time, agents conducted 860 inspections, issuing a total of 17 written warnings and four 30-day suspensions to businesses found in noncompliance with state COVID-19 guidelines.”

These establishments received 30-day suspensions:

  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, 3737 N. Mesa.
  • Rockstar Burger Bar, 217 N. Stanton.
  • Tortuga Sports Lounge, 126 Shadow Mountain.
  • Ciro’s Bar and Kitchen East, 1610 N. Zaragoza. 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Rockstar and Ciro’s get more than 51% of their revenue from alcohol sales, so they are classified as bars by the TABC. Bars currently are not allowed to legally operate under Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency health orders, according to the suspension orders.

Tortuga had its license suspended for violating social distancing requirements and not maintaining minimum health protocols, its suspension order said. Additionally, a patron and employee were seen without face coverings.

Tortuga also received a written warning in addition to the suspension. The establishment’s owner, Ron Patterson, said last week that TABC agents were overzealous and suspended his license for minor violations. 

El Paso Matters

El Paso Matters is a member-supported nonpartisan media organization that uses journalism to expand civic capacity in our region.



    1. I’m surprised to hear that Dan although I have never been to that one. I do frequent the one on Montana tho and it’s definitely restaurant. And very nice folks working there along with great food and service.

      Rockstar has always seemed more of a food place also. That action surprises me too.

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