A North Texas nightclub targeted by the state for fighting COVID shutdowns has opened its doors as a shelter for the homeless during this week’s winter storm.

The Rail Club Live in Fort Worth has been battling state and local authorities ever since Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-related executive orders arbitrarily shut down “51-percenter” businesses that make more than half of their revenue from alcohol sales.

Recently, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission revoked the club’s liquor license.

But throughout the ordeal, club owner Chris Polone has fought back to keep operating his live-music business, organized other 51-percent businesses, and served his local community by using his venue for volunteer activities like this week’s storm shelter.

Polone told Texas Scorecard this morning that the club is receiving people from local hospitals and police as well as walk-ins.

“We are in need of more volunteers and food, blankets, jackets, and things like that,” he said. “We don’t want to turn anyone away.”

“There aren’t enough shelters,” Polone added. “We have plenty of room but are running out of supplies and need more volunteers.”

He and other volunteers are also out looking for more people in need of shelter.

“Help us drive out and get more people off the streets,” he said. “There is no reason for anyone to freeze to death.”

To help or seek shelter, contact Polone at (817) 386-4309.

The Rail Club Live is located at 3101 Joyce Drive in Fort Worth.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.