TABC changes; more options for bar owners to reopen with food service

Texas

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Many bars continue to struggle as they remain closed during the pandemic. Now, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is making it easier for some bars to get back in business.

Tuesday, the five-member TABC appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott voted to amend the rules they have in place, essentially making it easier for certain businesses to get a food and beverage certificate.

Bars can do that by reclassifying and operating as restaurants that are permitted under the governor’s executive order. The new rule allows bars to partner with outside businesses like food trucks, or other services, to make sure there is food service available while alcohol is being sold.

Chris Porter with the TABC said bars will have to fulfill certain requirements before applying.

“That’s going to be showing essentially what your alcohol sales are projected to be, as well as showing what your arrangements for food service preparation are going to be,” said Porter. “So you know, you’ll have to make sure that you have any business partnerships in place with any outside businesses to provide food, or if you’re intending to install a kitchen yourself, you’ll have to prove that you have the equipment that you need to do so.”

Since July, Porter said the TABC has had a similar program allowing bars to apply for food and beverage permits under their old system. He said of about 700 texas bars who have applied, they have issued about 500 permits so far.

Another important note; bars that reopen after this change are still required to enforce health and safety procedures.

Those include social distancing between parties and limiting capacity. Porter said bar owners interested in applying should reach out to their local TABC office and they will walk you through the process.


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