During the November 14, 2023, regular City Commission Meeting in Brownsville, several important decisions and discussions took place:
The Brownsville Police Department introduced an ordinance on a First Reading to amend Chapter 22 by adding Article XIV.
The amendment addresses establishments not licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, specifically focusing on After-Hours establishments that operate without a license, selling alcohol outside legal hours.
The amendment includes changes to the City's master fee schedule to adopt annual permit and inspection fees.
After-hour establishments and BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) businesses are now required to close at 2:15 a.m.
Brownsville Police Commander James Paschall reported that a town hall meeting was held with the establishments affected by the ordinance.
One main concern raised was the 2:15 a.m. closing time.
“Even with the 2:15 a.m. restriction, BYOBs are a solid business model when compared with standard bars that sell alcohol. They have very little overhead making a good profit from the cover charge and the sell of set-ups of food. It’s a good business model that can, under normal hours equally compete with businesses that sell alcohol,” Paschall said.
Other provisions of the new ordinance would require that a manager be on duty and that the minimum age to enter the business be set at 18. In addition, all persons entering the establishments would have to be inspected by metal detectors and parking areas would have to be well lit.
Paschall said the department would assist the establishments in coming up with a security plan.
The Commission also approved two proclamations during the meeting. The first proclamation recognized the Tree Planting Celebration for the Brownsville Independent School District. The second proclamation recognized the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.