State regulators have closed an investigation into controversial social media comments by the owner of a popular Rainey Street bar that some considered lewd and racist and will not sanction the club.
Officials for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Tuesday that a 2½-month review found that the posts did not endanger patrons of Unbarlievable and were not a violation of any state regulation or law.
“As with anything, we try to keep an eye on the behavior of permittees to make sure they are not putting the public at risk, and that is what we did here,” TABC spokesman Chris Porter said. “Anytime we receive a complaint from anybody, we follow it up immediately, and in most cases, we try to get the investigation completed in 60 days.”
Officials closed the case last month.
The agency received a complaint in June about Unbarlievable, around the time the bar was the subject of an explosion on social media and a protest. Bar patrons allege that owner Brandon Cash’s staff in at least one instance arranged a number of beer bottles in the shape of a swastika, and Cash was accused of using profane and derogatory language toward consumers who complained online.
After one customer panned the bar in an online review, calling it an “ill-conceived and poorly executed” blend of circus theme and sports bar, a response that was labeled to have been from the owner said, among other things, that “since you had a towel on your head my bartender thought you were the new bus boy and handed you dirty dishes to wash.”
Cash later apologized, saying that he would work to again earn the trust of customers.