County Attorney Vince Ryan wins court order shutting down illegal warehouse bar

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has obtained a restraining order closing a warehouse operating as an unlicensed bar in south Houston near the Texas Medical Center.

On Tuesday, Judge Kyle Carter of the 125th District Court of Harris County ordered the Dixie Warehouse bar at 3365 Dixie Drive closed immediately and to remain closed until a valid liquor license is obtained. 

According to the lawsuit, the warehouse has been operating as a makeshift bar for years and has never had a liquor license.  On social media, the club advertises that it is open after 2 a.m., which is illegal in Texas, and offers patrons “free trashcan punch” and “free liquor all night” along with a promise that “no one leaves sober.”  The club is notorious for violent criminal activity, including shootings, aggravated assaults and aggravated robberies.  Most recently, on October 12, a man was shot in the left shoulder and right arm during a shootout in the bar’s parking lot.  Another man was shot at multiple times in his car, and a third man reported two rounds had struck his kitchen window.

On October 20, shortly before midnight, undercover officers with the Vice Division of the Houston Police Department entered the warehouse, where there were approximately 300 people, some underage.  After purchasing mixed drinks from the bartenders, one of which was a juvenile, the officers arrested the bartenders and the manager for selling alcohol without a license.  Officers also cited the club for safety and fire code violations, including overcrowding and lack of properly lighted exit signs.

The County’s civil lawsuit names the bar owners, managers, bartenders, and the landowner for maintaining a nuisance. 

“My office will continue to work with law enforcement to shut down these illegal bars, which often breed violent assaults, shootings and drunk driving,” said County Attorney Ryan.  “They are a threat to our community, and young people who frequent these bars are unwittingly placing themselves in dangerous situations.”

A hearing is scheduled in the case for 1:30 p.m. on October 27.

Click here to read the lawsuit and here to read the temporary restraining order.