New waiver from Governor Abbott may help businesses struggling during pandemic

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Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) told KTAB News that an announcement concerning nursing home visits is forthcoming. (Nexstar Media Group)

AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – After Governor Greg Abbott pushed an executive order that limited on-premise alcohol sales, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is now working to inform alcoholic beverage industry members about a new initiative by the governor that can help restaurants and bars.

A new statutory waiver approved by the governor on Saturday, June 27, allows restaurants and certain bars with a Mixed Beverage Permit to sell mixed drinks to go and for delivery.

The waiver would allow businesses to sell drinks containing distilled spirits mixed and sealed by the business itself.

Before the waiver, mixed drinks to go were prohibited under the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

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

Businesses, to qualify for alcohol delivery and pickup, must hold a Mixed Beverage Permit and have permanent food service capabilities on the premise. Any alcohol order must also be accompanied by a food order and follow all other requirements in TABC’s Industry Notice.

It is a criminal offense to knowingly have an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle. Prior to delivering a mixed alcoholic beverage or providing the beverage to-go, it must be in a closed or sealed container. If the covering or lid on the top of the container has any holes that would give a way to consume the beverage with the lid intact, it would constitute an illegal open container.

TABC said their agents will continue their efforts to make sure businesses are complying with the Governor’s executive orders, including those limiting on-premise alcohol service. 

Businesses with questions about the new guidelines are encouraged to contact their local TABC or check the agency’s Coronavirus Information Page at www.tabc.texas.gov/coronavirus.


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