AUSTIN (KXAN) — The weekend brings thousands of people to bars and clubs downtown, but the Austin Police Department says one in particular is operating illegally and draws a lot of violent crime.
After making an arrest following an assault outside Tellers Austin this week, an APD officer wrote in an affidavit: “Tellers Bar, which runs as an illegal after hours club has been a continuous issue in the Downtown area with numerous violent offenses from assaults, robberies and even shootings.”
We reported on one shooting back in March. Police said a woman was shot while sleeping in a car outside Tellers, adding the two suspects earlier had not been allowed inside the venue.
“It can get especially rowdy around the time the bars are closing,” said a bartender who works in the area. She asked us not to identify her for her own safety.
“We do hear a number of fights on the weekends as we’re closing our own bar,” she said. “I’ve never been harassed by anyone, but it can be unnerving.”
Austin Police hasn’t responded to our questions about the reported illegal activity. What we do know: APD has written 42 crime reports tied to the Trinity Street address so far in 2021. The most common incidents were assault with injury (10), disorderly conduct or fighting (7), and nuisance abatement (6).
APD records show a total of 81 crime reports associated with Tellers’ address since 2018.
When we compared that to another bar at 606 Trinity Street, we found 42 crime reports since 2018. Two other nearby locations had one and zero reports during that timeframe.
We tried all afternoon, but we couldn’t get in touch with the owner of the building where Tellers is located.
When we called a number believed to be affiliated with that owner, a woman told us, “I will give him the message when I see him.”
Tellers’ door was also locked when we went by late Friday afternoon.
“With the number of people still in this building when we are closing, I am specifically concerned about this spot,” the bartender told us.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), which regulates businesses that sell alcohol, tells us they have no record of Tellers, and the business isn’t licensed with them. The agency did say it was advising APD on what kind of options it would have for a potential criminal case.