On Monday, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner announced the first three additions to the city’s “Wall of Shame,” a collection of businesses that aren’t following the guidelines implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Turner announced that three Houston bars are the first establishments on his “Wall of Shame,” including Downtown nightclub Spire, which inspired criticism after photos of a packed house from over the weekend surfaced on social media. Bustling bar Prospect Park was also added to the list, along with Pour Behavior at 2211 Travis Street.
It’s unclear exactly what being on this “Wall of Shame” will actually mean for local businesses, outside of a scolding delivered by Turner during a press conference on Monday afternoon. Turner did say that any relevant cases of overcrowding would be referred to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which has been issuing temporary, 30-day suspensions of liquor licenses for establishments that violate Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders to reduce occupancy. Prospect Park is the latest Houston bar to lose its ability to sell booze for 30 days, joining Handlebar, which earned its suspension last week.
“These are businesses that, quite frankly, are just not serving their patrons well, and not serving their city well. I am hoping more businesses won’t have to be added to the Wall of Shame,” Turner said during the press conference. “This is a healthcare crisis, and the numbers are going in the wrong direction.”
Turner also urged people to stay away from crowded establishments, citing the risk of coronavirus spread in bustling bars and restaurants. “If you go into a place that is crowded and you can’t engage in social distancing, you should turn around and walk out,” Turner said. “This is real. People are dying, people are getting sick, people are in ICU beds. Quite frankly, I have lost my patience with you in that regard.”
During the press conference, Turner also reported a record high two-day count of 1,317 new coronavirus cases, and five new deaths.