Fish Bar temporarily closed due to ‘continuous’ underage drinking, other violations

Crime
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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A Downtown El Paso bar is temporarily closed after a lawsuit filed by the El Paso County Attorney alleges several instances of underage drinking, violent encounters, and other infractions.

Fish Bar, legally referred to as Dogfish, is accused of multiple criminal and public safety violations including serving alcohol to minors, over-serving alcohol, public intoxication, failing to report breaches, narcotics violations, and more.

According to court records, the county says law enforcement officers have responded to the Union Plaza bar more than 450 times since November 2016.

Of those incidents, more than 100 police reports have been filed, including 44 cases involving minors.

According to court documents, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission also reported at least 55 violations.

Officials say commission agents have made contact with the bar’s owners at least four times to make them aware of age and alcohol violations and safety issues.

“If Dogfish is allowed to continue to operate as they do now, the repercussions of their actions/inactions are incalculable and pose a great threat to the community and citizens of El Paso,” the lawsuit reads.

The closure comes less than three weeks after two men were charged following an April 22 brawl that began inside the bar and continued outside.

Police say officers were attempting to separate the men involved when they too were pushed and punched. 

Several other disorderly conduct charges have also been filed in other incidents, including several against the bouncers themselves.

“Bouncers of Dogfish are aggressive and often assaultive when removing patrons from the bar,” the lawsuit alleges.

The bar will remain closed until its owners and the county can find a resolution.

A Temporary Injunction hearing originally set to take place this week was postponed to allow the county to work out the terms in the agreement.

The full legal documents can be found below.

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