Although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s new executive order allows dining rooms to reopen at 25 percent capacity on May 1, the state’s restaurants will still be able to sell to-go alcohol, beer, and wine to customers through pickup and delivery services. This continuance was confirmed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).
The liquor-to-go waiver was originally issued on Wednesday, March 18, the same week that Gov. Abbott issued a mandate closing restaurant dining rooms throughout the state to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The waiver was designed to help restaurants maintain a vital revenue stream to offset sales lost to dining room closures.
TABC’s waiver only applies to restaurants with mixed beverage permits. The alcoholic drinks must remain in their manufacturer-sealed containers (meaning original containers) that are 375 milliliters or less. Orders also must accompany the purchase of food.
Legally, this means that restaurants still aren’t able to mix their own drinks to sell. Cocktail kits, which include approved standalone bottles of spirits and nonalcoholic juices and mixers, are allowed. As of now, there is no specific end date for the waiver.
While Texas restaurants are allowed to reopen for dine-in services on Friday, May 1, there are many in Austin that are choosing to either stay closed or stick to takeout and delivery services instead.