Corona virus updates for bars and restaurants in Texas

Corona virus updates for bars and restaurants in Texas is an ever changing challenge that most of us are dealing with. Whether you are in the bar/restaurant/nightlife industry or you just enjoy gong to them, it can be hard to keep up with what is new. Let us help break down some of the newest laws and what they mean for you.

New updates on capacity and openings

Governor Greg Abbott recently announced the latest update on reopening last week (9/12/2020). These new guidelines prove to be very beneficial for restaurants but left bar owners out of the equation.

These new rules for corona virus updates include restaurants being allowed to open up at 75% capacity but leaves out bars. Bars will have to remain closed until further notice. If you are wondering what makes the difference between a bar and a restaurant, check back to this ____ blog post for a full description. In short, to be considered a restaurant vs a bar, a venue must have their alcohol sales be less than 50% of their total sales.

Bars reclassifying as restaurants

As most of us know a lot of bars have been doing their best to add more food on to their menu in order to stay open under these new laws. As long as a venue can have their food sales 50% more than their alcohol sales they can remain open at 75% capacity. You may wonder how this might work for venues who serve food but are known more for their alcohol sales. Take for instance your favorite sports bar, they serve food but people are their to drink and watch their favorite game.
The way most places are attempting to get around this is by requiring food with alcohol purchases. Where as before you could stop in and only order a beer, now you must order at the very least an appetizer with your alcoholic beverage.

Permit 51

On top of this if they were only know as a bar, they will have to receive a permit in order to reclassify as a restaurant. Receiving a permit 51 looks like this:
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has allowed many of them to reclassify as restaurants, as long as they follow necessary steps:
-The application requires the [applicants] to provide a projection of their alcohol sales percentage, and they must show that they have the ability to provide food service to their customers
-multiple entrees, and the food must be available the entire time the business is open to customers
-the supplemental license costs $776 every two years
– food sales must stay at 51% and alcohol at 49% of total revenue

There have been over 8,000 certified Texas bars that have applied for this recertification. Of those more than 1,000 have reopened as restaurants in hopes to stay away from closing their doors permanently like we have unfortunately seen so many others do.

Corona virus updates and plans on when bars can begin reopening in Texas

As of now there is no set plan for when and how bars can begin reopening. Corona virus cases have steadily been dropping in the state but most expert still find that it is too dangerous to open bars. Experts say that there is an increased risk having people mingling in an inclosed space versus sitting at their table eating when discussing the difference between bars and restaurants.
There has been a number of bars that resisted the shut down and opened illegally. As stated in some previous blogs we do not recommend this! TABC has been heavily cracking down on business not adhering to the law. It is not worth risking your license in order to open up temporarily only to be shut down once you are found out by TABC.

With cases dropping we are very hopeful we will soon see life return back to normal. Until the next update, stay safe and wash your damn hands!

Bars and restaurants