By Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle. Updated 2:48 pm, Saturday, February 4, 2017
A Houston judge issued a Friday order forbidding the Galleria-area ClubAtlanta from serving alcohol, even with the big-business Super Bowl weekend just ahead.
After police accused the club of blatantly advertising all-night hours in violation of state law, Judge Patricia Kerrigan slapped the troubled watering hole with an order "necessary to prevent the threatened or ongoing violation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code," according to court documents.
In preparation for the big game, the night club launched an online campaign boasting of midnight to 9 a.m. hours over Super Bowl weekend. But those overnight hours would make the hotspot an unlicensed after-hours club in violation Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
In response, the judge banned the club from serving alcohol, operating after 2:15 a.m. and allowing patrons to consume alcohol after 2:15 a.m. - actions that would already be against the law under ClubAtlanta's current permits anyway.
The freshly released restraining order is just the latest development in an ongoing series of legal actions launched against the problematic west Houston hotspot.
Before the Richmond Avenue joint was called ClubAtlanta, the property owner rented it to an unlicensed strip club known as V Live.
The Harris County Attorney's Office launched a suit against the erstwhile club in September, alleging it constituted a public nuisance given its failure to abide by state beverage codes and its history of crime on scene.
Two months later, the state shut down the club due to $200,000 in unpaid taxes.
But after the property owners re-leased the spot to ClubAtlanta, prosecutors continued pursuing legal action, arguing in court filings that "ClubAtlanta will have the same business model as V Live and continue to operate as a nuisance."
With the new restraining order, the club is on notice for Super Bowl weekend. Houston police have been notified of the order and will be monitoring the business closely, according to the Harris County Attorney's Office.
A hearing on a temporary injunction has been set for Feb. 10.