Madeline Rackley stands charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of Jarrett Ryan Whittington. Last Summer, two Austin police officers were in the Rainey Street area and witnessed Rackley drive her Honda Civic into Lady Bird Lake in the early morning hours of Sunday July 1st 2012.

Rackley, who reportedly had been drinking at Lustre Pearl, managed to escape the vehicle as it sank into the lake, but Whittington, the backseat passenger drowned. Now the TABC is gunning for Lustre Pearl owner Bridget Dunlap’s alcohol license. We documented Ms. Dunlap’s Rainey Street empire here

The TABC plays hardball in incidents where they believe a bar to be culpable in cases like Rackley’s, and now they’ve decided to attempt to relieve Ms. Dunlap of her liquor license at Lustre Pearl, the crown jewel of her Austin bar empire.

“If you’re having trouble maintaining control of this permit, and we are going against this permit, and we are saying you don’t control your premises very well, it’s hard to say that you’re doing okay here. But you don’t do well here so it could potentially have an impact on the other permits as well,” stated TABC captain Harry Nanos in a conversation with KVUE (

Could this spell alcohol license revocations for Bar 96 and Clive Bar, two other drinkeries in Dunlap’s fiefdom? And what about Mettle, the long delayed fine dining venue that Dunlap’s attempting to open in the Hops n Grain complex at the eastern terminus of 6th street? Powering through a rabbit backstrap without a $15 glass of burgundy might be more than the gentry can bear.

BYOB fine dining might be a gimmick whose time has come.

Updates, as always, as warranted.

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