Uptown Dallas establishment forced to shut down again over classification dispute

A Dallas fire marshal shut down a crowded Uptown Dallas business establishment again Thursday night amid disagreement over whether it should be classified as a bar or as a restaurant.

FOX 4 cameras were at Harris’ House of Heroes Wednesday night when police officers were called out to break up what appeared to be a large crowd. The same thing happened this past Sunday.

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On Wednesday, Dallas police were called to the establishment because a caller said there was a fight. There was no fight but police sent everyone home.

Police estimated there were 200 people there in just over 1,000-square-feet of space.

The bar is owned by former NFL player D’Vante Harris’ family. They said they have maintained the occupancy requirement for restaurants, which for them is 25 people allowed inside and an unlimited number of people outside because there is no limit on outdoor dining.

However, state guidelines do require tables to be spread out and there should be no more than six people seated at each table.

“It did. It looked bad. But if they checked our numbers, we were in compliance,” said CEO Tezlyn Harris.

“If you have to have two squad cars outside breaking up a crowd, is that responsible? I don’t know,” said property owner John Walsh.

Harris’ House of Heroes had not been issued a warning, violation or citation despite four complaints and subsequent inspections done by city code compliance.

According to their certificate of occupancy with the city, the business is registered as a bar and should not have been allowed to reopen yet. But the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission calls it a restaurant because food accounts for more than 51% of its sales.

TABC is now looking into whether it is actually a bar.

Its owners said either way, they are following state guidelines.

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