Bars Investigated by the TABC

Garden Bistro Bar Investigated by TABC

By: Mike Grossman, Texas Injury Attorney

Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Garden Bistro Bar? Here's What You Need To Know

I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.

Garden Bistro Bar is an upscale nightclub located in San Antonio, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than nine investigations into the club's alcohol service practices.

In my experience, it is uncommon for a bar without a history of run-ins with the TABC to end up on the hook for contributing to a wrongful death or injury. Virtually every bar I have ever sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention to bars with several recent complaints against them. The more investigations a bar has had, the greater my concern is that it could one day cause an accident.

Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence, it doesn't necessarily mean an establishment is innocent, either. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Garden Bistro Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Garden Bistro Bar Between 2015 and 2020

San Antonio - 18360 Blanco Road Suite 100


On 04/21/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint alleging that the bar allowed staff to sell drugs on the premises and sold alcohol during prohibited hours.

Authorities looked into the matter, but failed to find any hard evidence of a violation. Unable to take any further action, they closed the case on 05/21/2015.

A member of the San Antonio community reached out to the TABC on 06/09/2015, claiming that the bar allowed a minor to purchase and consume alcohol.

For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. In this investigation, authorities had neither, which led to their decision to close the case on 06/27/2015.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 11/04/2015, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.

As stated in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since agents had none in this investigation, they opted to wrap up their work on 11/06/2015.

A citizen complaint, filed on 04/11/2018, alleged that the bar served alcohol to a drunk customer and allowed a minor to possess or consume alcohol.

While authorities failed to find any evidence to corroborate the initial claims, they did manage to establish that the bar permitted the possession of drugs on the premises. After handing down an unspecified penalty for an administrative violation, they closed the case on 06/02/2018.

On 08/14/2018, an anonymous source lodged a complaint with the TABC, claiming that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol and sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Though TABC agents were unable to prove the original allegations, they did find evidence that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. After issuing the bar a written warning, authorities closed the case on 10/11/2018.

Another citizen complaint, filed on 10/09/2018, accused the bar of permitting a minor to possess or consume alcohol as well as allowing patrons to consume alcohol during prohibited hours.

Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not confirm the validity of the claims and could take no action. On 12/07/2018, TABC agents wrapped up their work on the investigation.

The TABC received a law enforcement complaint on 10/03/2019, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred. Additionally, it alleged that the bar allowed patrons to consume alcohol during prohibited hours.

Authorities investigated and found evidence that staff was drinking on the job and that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. From the report, it does not appear that the TABC handed down any punishment. On 02/01/2020, the case came to a close.

Law enforcement got in touch with the TABC once again on 10/15/2019, claiming that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace.

Lacking evidence to support the allegation, authorities could not take any action. Thus, they closed the case on 02/18/2020.

Texas Law Says Accident Victims Can Sue Bad Bars

If you would like to learn more about Texas dram shop law (i.e. lawsuits against bars who play a role in injurious or fatal accidents), please visit our Texas Dram Shop Law Info Page.

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