The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has issued new permits for bars formely owned by Yassine Enterprises. According to a TABC release:
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) issued four new permits today at former Yassine locations in downtown Austin:
Bourbon Girl at 212 E. 6th Street, the former site of Spill
413 Bar at 413 E. 6th Street, the former site of Treasure Island
Chicago House at 607 Trinity, the former site of Fuel
Castro’s Warehouse at 213 W. 4th Street, the former site of Hyde
On the morning of January 8, 2013, TABC obtained proposals for decision recommending cancellation of nine permits held by Hussein Ali “Mike” Yassine. By the close of business the same day, TABC’s Assistant Administrator had signed orders canceling four of those permits, freeing the locations for new permits to be issued. The remaining five proposals for decision are in the review process: Malaia, Kiss & Fly, Roial, Pure and Stack Burger.
TABC sought cancellation of these nine permits in hearings held before an administrative law judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) alleging several violations. The administrative law judge recommended cancellation based on Alcoholic Beverage Code 11.61(b)(6) which gives TABC the authority to cancel a permit if the permittee’s reputation for being a peaceable law abiding citizen in the community where he resides is bad. Mr. Yassine was recently convicted of federal money laundering charges.
The SOAH hearings were initially scheduled to take place between May and June, 2012. However, requests for continuances by Mr. Yassine postponed the hearings. In November 2012, Mr. Yassine requested additional time to retain a new lawyer and prepare his case, postponing the hearing until February 2013. Ultimately, the SOAH administrative law judge ruled on a motion for summary disposition, recommending cancellation of the nine permits as a matter of law, eliminating the need for the February 2013 hearing.
State law allows TABC license and permit holders extensive opportunity for due process prior to the agency having the authority to cancel their permits. Additionally, section 11.44 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code states that if TABC has initiated action to cancel a permit, no permit may be issued for the same licensed premises. For this reason, TABC has been unable to issue permits to new business owners at these nine locations until orders were signed to cancel the permits held by Mr. Yassine. Mr. Yassine still has the opportunity to request a rehearing and to file an appeal of these orders.