City targets bars in restaurants' clothing

Dallas: Officials say some are skirting rules; some owners call audit unfair

By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News

Is it a bar, or is it a restaurant?

To patrons, it may not make a difference. But to Dallas officials, it's a crucial distinction as they try to referee growing friction between residential neighborhoods and entertainment districts.

Starting this month, Dallas auditors will demand to check the books at some of the city's hottest drinking and dining venues, including several along popular Greenville Avenue.

Under state law, venues making 75 percent or more of their sales from alcohol are considered bars and are subject to restrictions. City Council members – led by District 14 representative Angela Hunt – believe some Dallas proprietors are fudging their books to look like restaurants, to avoid the thorny permitting process required for bars.

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Dallas City Code / Audits of Mixed Beverage Sales

From the BD archives:

City issues citations to Lower Greenville scumbars (November 2004)

Bars fail to get injunction on No Smoking Ban, or It takes a kitchen to make you a restaurant (March 2003)

Blue Fish closed for health/sanitary conditions (November 2004)

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Lower Greenville