Bernie’s Burger Bus Alcohol License Detained After Proximity to School

BERNIE’S BURGER BUS ALCOHOL LICENSE DETAINED AFTER PROXIMITY TO SCHOOL Maybe you’ve heard the rumor — that the opening of the Bernie’s Burger Bus wheels-off location now all but complete next to the pediatric clinic in the new Braun Enterprises commercial building constructed on the former Alabama Furniture spot at 2200 Yale St. in the Heights has been delayed on account of the owners having trouble getting a beer and wine license because they didn’t take into consideration the fact that the restaurant’s 22nd St. side (pictured above under construction in April) would be across the street from Hamilton Junior High School? It’s true — well sort of, but not entirely. “The rumors are correct,” Bus chef Justin Turner explains on the restaurant’s Facebook page. There have indeed been “issues with the timeliness of getting our license due to the proximity of the school.” But, Turner writes, “We had all that info even before signing the lease.” What’s the issue then? The laws regarding alcohol sales near schools “are vague and very subjective . . . different people had different interpretations,” Turner notes. The owners were “told the variance that had to be filed with city of Houston would only take 30-45 days and it went on just over 120. . . . Long story short we’re [past] the city of Houston and on to Austin where we expect no or very little delays.” Best guesses for an opening date? “Our hope is end of July or early August but unfortunately at this time it is out of our control and left up to the guidance of our legal team and the information they provide us from the city and the state.” [Bernie’s Burger Bus via HAIFPhoto: Bernie’s Burger Bus

15 Comment

  • I guess they thought it is the distance to the front door of the school? Not a minor oversight.

  • Slippery slope continues sliding. The word “variance” in the Heights equals outside developers making a buck on the backs of longtime or affluent residents. Why so they need a variance? A school is a school and there was no need to build so close to it.

  • Close the school and open the restaurant. Hamilton is a terrible school. If you can afford the Heights, you can afford private school – or at least you should.

  • pretty soon heights will be overrun by drunk middle schoolers. there goes the neighborhood.

  • State of Grace is directly across the street (Westheimer) from Lamar High School and just as close to St. John’s School. I imagine they got a variance too…

  • @ Resident. You really think a bunch of middle schoolers are going to walk into an upscale burger joint, order beers, and then actually get served? Besides, it’s only a few more blocks to Johnny’s Gold brick, which is (*gasp*) an actual bar if they want to try to get their juvenile delinquency on.

  • @Heightsresident I think HeightsBusyBody was being sarcastic. That said you’re right, it’s not like middle schoolers are going to wander into a bar and just pull up a seat. This law is incredibly archaic.

  • @Chris – I lived in the Heights for many years & cannot afford private school as it’s upwards of $19k/year starting. Transfer is what parents do in these ‘hoods. Of course Waltrip & Reagan are making their way up the HISD ranking so who’s to say Hamilton won’t get there some day. And yes, State of Grace is spitting distance to Lamar & no problems there.

  • Chris – Hamilton is a great school with a growing program for smart Gifted Talented Vanguard students. Kids place their names on a lottery to get in – but they only have a chance if they pass the GT test. You should research the school before commenting. The student body excels better than Hogg or Black, the other adjacent middle schools.

  • Been to A LOT of Heigths kids bday parties where the parents have their own simultaneous party with beer and wine, while the kids jumped in bounce houses or run all over the park. Middle schoolers and teens that want booze get it the same way it’s been done for years, from their parent’s house or a friend’s house, not walking by a restaurant that will have probably $5 and up glasses of beers. All the Heights area schools have fundraisers. Booze, restaurant donations are always desired by the PTOs. The law is pretty silly.

  • These laws were not intended to keep kids away from alcohol but to keep drunk adults away from kids, especially in a state where everyone drives to the local pub. And of course Bernie’s doesn’t exactly cater to the day drinking pedophile crowd…or does it?

  • JarritoW is correct, a bar is a bar whether its upscale, hipster, or shady. Just because you and your friends feel like upstanding citizens and can enjoy responsibly, doesn’t mean everyone can.

  • If Jarrito is right that the law is meant to keep the drinkers away from the schools, then why does this same law apply to churches?

  • How are mistakes like this made? Remember when Specs had to abandon a building they were constructing on Washington? That’s just very poor planning.

  • There seems to be a lot of schadenfreude on the part of cynical Heights residents apparently terrified of tasty burgers coming to their neighborhood. Fact is, the ordinance relating to sale of alcohol near schools was amended a decade ago. As long as there’s no advertising on the outside of the building and no consumption on an outdoor patio, there should be no impediment.
    We should have some sympathy for a small business owner getting the run-around from city hall.