Once again bars ordered to close in Texas
This marks a second time that bars have been asked to close their doors the Corona Virus Pandemic. We wrote a similar blog on what this means for business owners back in May and will continue to keep all of our friends in the alcohol and beverage industry as updated as we can as bars ordered to close again.
This past Friday 6/26 morning Governor Greg Abbott announced that bars will once again be closing in the state of Texas. This is due to the increase in Covid 19 numbers the state has seen. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.” Along with bars closing, restaurants will now cut back to 50% capacity but are allowed to remain open.
What makes a bar vs a restaurant?
What makes a bar a bar and a restaurant a restaurant. This has already been pre determined by the TABC on how an establishment is listed. If an establishment has over 51% of its sale in alcohol, it is technically considered a bar, club or winery. All restaurants must have food handlers permits along with their alcohol permits. According to TABC rules they must also have “permanent food service capabilities”. Therefor, even if your favorite bar also sells food or just started to sell food, it may not remain open.
Bars ordered to close again in Texas but can still sell their own alcohol
As a lot of us are aware alcohol to go is still legal in Texas! Now we have a new law that adds to this benefit. Previously bars and restaurant were only allowed to sell manufactured sealed alcoholic beverages. Meaning you could sell cocktail kits but you could not sell mixed drinks. Now bars with mixed beverage permits and on site kitchens will able to sell their own homemade concoctions to the public for delivery or take out.
Establishments may do this while observing the following rules
-the mixed drinks have to be made at the restaurant or bar
-mixed drinks have to be sealed at the restaurant or bar with tape or some sort of adhesive that has the name of the business and states that it is an “alcoholic beverage” (this also means that there can’t be any visible straw or sipping holes)
-the mixed drinks will have to put into bags that are then zip-tied closed
-drinks must be sold with food
-the mixed drinks can’t be placed in the passenger areas of vehicles (this means the drinks must be placed in the trunks or glove compartments or the backseats of cars without trunks)
-there is no size limit for the mixed drinks
This is good news for an industry that is already having a hard time. As now, bars have a way to decrease their inventory and attempt to keep some of their sales they has while open. “This is desperate now. We are desperate,” Dr. Emily Williams Knight, president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association said. “We are the second largest sector. The one that has always been there for everyone.” She said with 30 percent of the state’s restaurants projected to close this year the governor’s decision to limit capacity to half is better than nothing.
Some Texas bars still open despite new orders
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said on Friday agents visited 628 bars across the state. Of the 628, 30 were serving in violation of the new stare requirements. According to TABC 28 of these 30 establishments agreed to close. While the last 2 that did not comply had their license suspended for 30 days. TABC has also been keeping a very close eye on restaurants. We stated in our previous blogs on why you do not want to disobey these orders. It can result in permanently losing your license.
When will bars be able to reopen
As of now there is scheduled date for bars to reopen. When asked on the matter, Texas Governor Abbott said is unsure as to when bars will be allowed to reopen. The most we can do is guess. And we are guessing until we start to see a decline in Covid-19 cases in the Texas all of us in the alcohol and beverage industry will be patiently waiting.
Stay safe out there ComedyTABC.com