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Restaurants, some bars can now sell mixed drinks to-go, TABC says

New waiver provides relief for businesses struggling during pandemic

FILE - In this May 29, 2020, file photo, Jessica Ciaramitaro, Daryn Feenstra and Nicholas Soriano mix drinks while wearing face masks at the bar at San Pedro Brewing Company in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles. Coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half the U.S. states, as states are rolling back lockdowns. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)
FILE - In this May 29, 2020, file photo, Jessica Ciaramitaro, Daryn Feenstra and Nicholas Soriano mix drinks while wearing face masks at the bar at San Pedro Brewing Company in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles. Coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half the U.S. states, as states are rolling back lockdowns. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – Restaurants and bars with permanent food services facilities can now apply for a Mixed Beverage Permit to sell mixed drinks to-go and for delivery, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Under the waiver, businesses may sell drinks containing distilled spirits mixed and sealed by the business itself.

Previously, mixed drinks to-go were prohibited under the Alcoholic Beverage Code. However, Gov. Greg Abbott approved the waiver Saturday to help businesses losing on-premise alcohol sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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

According to the TABC, it is a criminal offense to knowingly possess 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 provide a way to consume the beverage with the lid intact, it would constitute an illegal open container.


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