The Harris County Attorney’s office continued its crackdown against after-hours clubs in Houston, obtaining court orders that have led to the closing of three unlicensed bars in the city.
After undercover police raids, Palacios After-Hours, Envy
After-hours clubs often open as other bars are closing because of the Texas law prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 2 a.m. These spots typically attract younger crowds, including minors, and can be a nest of criminal activity, according to Rosemarie Donnelly, Harris County assistant attorney.
The order claims that Envy Lounge is “notorious for criminal activity and violence” and that police have responded to numerous calls about violent assaults and other crimes. In the past month, 22 calls were made to local police about Envoy, mostly consisting of noise complaints but also including a report of a discharged firearm, according to the Houston Police Department.
A judge ordered an injunction against the property of the owners of Envy Lounge, Prosperity Group Investments of
Soon after Envy closed, the venue’s Facebook page started promotions for the opening of a new after-hours club called “Climax After Hours” on Richmond Avenue – even though the court order prohibits both property owners from leasing a space to anyone without a liquor license or who is operating an after-hours club.
This is not the first time Prosperity Group Investments of Houston has been targeted by Harris County. The city filed an injunction against Eclipse Gentlemen’s Club and its owners in 2013 after a string of reports that included seven sexually oriented business violations – or of county rules that pertain to places like strip clubs, adult cabarets or erotic movie theaters – as well as two prostitution cases and a handful of drug and controlled-substance cases. A year later, the club received local media attention after a 27-year-old pregnant woman was beaten to death inside.
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Palacios, located at 141 North Sam Houston Parkway, was also busted after undercover officers ordered drinks inside. Flyers from the club boast that it is Houston’s “number one Latin After Hours night club” and include a photo of four women holding clear plastic cups. It advertises the club as open from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. seven days a week.
“The whole notion that an after-hours bar is not illegal is false,” Donnelly said.