- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The owners of a sports bar in Fort Worth, Texas, cited Obamacare in announcing Monday that they are closing their doors after five years of business.

Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill, a downtown hot spot for watching Dallas Cowboys and Texas Christian University football games, announced the decision to close in a letter posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

“Several factors led to this decision, but the proverbial straw was brought on by the Affordable Care Act,” owners Bill and Johnnie Katz said in a statement. “If we were to stay in business, there was no way for us to have borne the weight of the oppressive penalties for failing to comply with the mandates of that legislature.

“Therefore, another establishment goes out of business,” they said. “Over 50 people lose their job. Suppliers and vendors lose the revenue of our account. Loyal patrons have one less option for dining out.”

Mr. Katz told the Star-Telegram that his Fort Worth restaurant had more than 50 full-time employees, and since he doesn’t pay for health care for staff, he would have had to pay on Jan. 1 a penalty between $200,000 and $300,000.

“I don’t have that kind of money,” he said. “So instead of 50 or 60 people without health care, we have 50 or 60 people that aren’t employed anymore. It makes no sense.”

Mr. Katz, who also runs a Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill in Dallas, said the Dallas location is more lucrative and will remain open.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said of closing the Fort Worth location, the Star-Telegram reported. “There were a lot of tears and sleepless nights. I was trying to keep it open. I love the store. I love Fort Worth. But I was out of aces. The Affordable Care Act — what an oxymoron — made it impossible.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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