Bars Investigated by the TABC

Hemingway’s Watering Hole Investigated by TABC

Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Hemingway's Watering Hole? Here's What You Need To Know

I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.

Hemingway's Watering Hole is a bar located in Waco, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted four separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.

In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in 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 Hemingway's Watering Hole for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Hemingway's Watering Hole Between 2018 and 2019

Waco - 4700 Bosque Boulevard Suite B


On 10/01/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to a drunk patron.

Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. 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. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 11/17/2018.

A member of the Waco community reached out to the TABC on 12/13/2018, claiming that the bar allowed staff to sell drugs on the premises and sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.

As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 01/08/2019.

The TABC received yet another citizen complaint on 02/26/2019, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place.

The ensuing investigation was able to confirm that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace, which authorities classified as an administrative violation. After issuing the bar a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 04/24/2019.

A citizen complaint, dated 10/11/2019, accused staff of drinking on the job, selling drugs on the premises, and selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron.

TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 12/09/2019.

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.