Main Street Tap & Grill-Closed

Main Street Tap & Grill, which operated at 4002 N. Main St. and was the subject of a series of complaints by nearby residents, closed earlier this year. (Contributed photo)

Residents of Melwood and Walton streets have been able to sleep more soundly during the last two months, and they’ve also been a little less on edge. They no longer live next to a restaurant and bar that blared music on an outdoor patio and experienced multiple incidents of gun violence.

Main Street Tap & Grill, which opened late in 2019 at 4002 N. Main St., allowed its state-issued alcohol sales permit to expire at the end of March and closed shortly thereafter, according to Greg Waligorski, who said he is a co-owner of the business and that it is moving to another location. He also said the property where the restaurant and bar operated is being sold.

Those have been welcome developments for nearby residents and the Montie Beach Civic Club, which filed hundreds of noise complaints about the restaurant and bar with the City of Houston and organized an effort to protest the renewal of its mixed beverage permit with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). The latter undertaking proved unnecessary as Main Street Tap & Grill never applied for a new alcohol sales permit, according to TABC spokesperson Chris Porter.

“I will tell you that it is a life-changing event for those people that are most affected by this place,” Montie Beach Civic Club member Tim Goings said of the closure. “We’re elated.”

Waligorski said a “stack full” of factors prompted the closure of Main Street Tap & Grill, including the upcoming expiration of its lease and its tense relationship with nearby residents. There were 192 loud noise complaints against the business from December 2019 through the end of last August, according to a Houston Police Department calls-for-service log obtained by The Leader, along with multiple incidents of violence and gunfire on or near the premises.

Two men were stabbed and another was shot during a fight that started in the bar and spilled into the parking lot in September 2020, according to a KHOU report, and Waligorski said last year that a man operating a steak night at the business was injured in a shooting early Aug. 14. Video footage sent to The Leader by a nearby resident shows there were two shooting incidents outside of the bar early Oct. 13, when someone fired a few shots from the driver’s side of a parked truck around 1:30 a.m., and then several shots were fired during what appeared to be an altercation around 3 a.m.

When Main Street Tap & Grill’s mixed beverage permit was coming up for renewal, Houston City Council member Karla Cisneros she said filed two protests with the TABC on behalf of her constituents in District H, which includes the Montie Beach neighborhood. The TABC said in a February email that 11 complaints about the business had been submitted to the agency, although Porter said last week that those complaints were not investigated because a renewal application did not end up being received.

“Upon Main Street Tap & Grill’s shuttering, it is important to recognize the community’s hard work as well as to note that the neighborhood welcomes good neighbors, indeed always has, and that MSTG was not a good neighbor,” Cisneros said. “I am unaware of the future plans for the property but will continue to work with businesses and residents along Main Street to do what’s best for the community as a whole.

Regarding the expiration of Main Street Tap & Grill’s mixed beverage permit, Waligorski said the business wanted to renew its permit and then transfer that permit to a different location, but was not allowed by the TABC. Waligorski also acknowledged operating for a few days in April, after the alcohol permit expired, adding, “We stopped selling alcohol when (the TABC) told us to stop.”

A TABC spokesperson said in a Monday email that the agency conducted inspections of the business following the expiration of its permit and “have not observed evidence that they were selling alcohol without a permit, nor have we received complaints alleging such sales.”

“TABC was told by the business owner that they did not intend to seek a new permit, though they do have the option of re-applying in the future,” the email continued. “If an application is received, the agency would investigate any protests against issuing the permit at that time.”

Waligorski said the business was successful on North Main Street but added, “If you’re unappreciated, you might as well go where you are.” He said the business plans to open under a new name and at a new, larger location less than a mile away, along the Interstate 45 access road.

He also said the business doesn’t want “neighbor problems” or “community problems,” and that the management at Main Street Tap & Grill took steps to curb violence, adding, “Guns aren’t good for business, I can tell you that.”

“I think it’s going to end up working out better for everybody,” he said. “We’re happy about the move. We’re happy about the change. We’re happy to be out of there. … I hope they support whoever takes it over.”

Goings, with the Montie Beach Civic Club, expressed a similar sentiment, saying he hopes the future tenant at 4002 N. Main St. gets along better with its neighbors.

“We have high hopes for whatever is going in there next,” he said. “There’s no reason we can’t have a nice, family-friendly restaurant or restaurant and bar, or even just a neighborhood bar. It was a bar, the last two iterations of that place before it was Main Street Tap & Grill. They were very supportive of the neighborhood, and we were supportive of them.”

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