Houston Chronicle

Sports bar loses challenge to sell alcohol

Judge denies legal motion from Bombshells on I-45 after Ogg filed public nuisance suit

- By Victoria Cheyne victoria.cheyne@chron.com twitter.com/victoria_cheyne

A judge denied a legal challenge Monday by the Houston sports bar Bombshells and refused to allow it to resume alcohol sales, following a rare restrainin­g order in a nuisance suit brought by county prosecutor­s.

The lawsuit was brought June 6 by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, whose office filed a public nuisance lawsuit to close Bombshells at 12810 Gulf Freeway. Ogg characteri­zed the bar as a “crime factory” due to the array of criminal activity that has taken place at or near the establishm­ent, allegedly resulting from overservin­g alcohol.

The order prohibits any alcohol on the premises until a June 29 evidentiar­y hearing, the first step in the nuisance abatement suit that Ogg said she hoped would either change the conduct of the bar’s management or shut it down.

The temporary restrainin­g order was granted last week by District Judge Steven Kirkland, and he rejected the motion by the bar to dismiss it on Monday.

“We’re trying to stop the carnage that results from many intoxicate­d people leaving Bombshells and hurting someone else,” Ogg said after the suit was filed. “Bombshells on I-45 has been a magnet and a source for a lot of crime in the restaurant­bar, the parking lot, and this is classicall­y what we call a nuisance.”

Ogg said she believes this lawsuit is the first of its kind against a restaurant or bar for bad behavior.

Law enforcemen­t has responded to a multitude of calls regarding shootings, assaults, aggravated robberies, narcotics and other crimes at the establishm­ent, according to the suit. The district attorney’s office has filed a 52-page document listing at least 90 instances in which people have been arrested at the business since it opened.

Ogg said in May that police arrested four people leaving the bar on charges of driving while intoxicate­d. Police have also arrested a driver leaving the bar on suspicion of intoxicati­on assault of a police officer.

The bar’s owners chose to close its doors rather than serve food exclusivel­y, according to the release. Representa­tives of the bar have not returned repeated requests for comment.

This action comes as part of a recent effort by a new district attorney’s office task force to trace alcohol from the scene of a drunken-driving crash to when and where it was obtained.

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