TABC allows restaurants, bars to sell mixed drinks to-go with food

Talk 1370 Newsroom
June 27, 2020 - 5:24 pm

    AUSTIN ( -- You now have another option for your to-go alcohol in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are now allowing restaurants and bars with permanent food service capabilities to sell mixed drinks to go and for delivery, under a statutory waiver approved by Abbott on Saturday.

    Under the waiver, drinks containing distilled spirits mixed and sealed on-site can now be included with a food order, in accordance with other guidance available on the TABC website. Previously, bars and restaurants could only offer "kits" for customers to mix on their own, with manufacturer-sealed containers.

    "Operating during this pandemic has proved an incredible challenge for all segments of the alcoholic beverage industry," TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said in a statement. "Opening up the ability for these businesses to sell mixed drinks to go will help ease the burden for many of these struggling businesses."

    Prior to delivering a mixed alcoholic beverage or providing the beverage to go, the restaurant or bar must put it in a closed or sealed container. If the covering or lid on the top of the container has any holes that would provide a way to consume the beverage with the lid intact, it would constitute an illegal open container, especially in the passenger area of a motor vehicle.

    The latest move comes after Gov. Abbott ordered bars across the state to close their doors Friday, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to TABC officials, who continued their undercover visits to bars and restaurants across the state Friday to ensure compliance with Abbott's order, 30 out of 628 bars agents visited were found to still be operating. 28 of those bars voluntarily closed their doors; two bars, The Whiskey Girl in Abilene and Outlaws in Longview, were issued 30 day suspensions of their liquor permits for refusing to comply.


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