More Texas bars could reopen as restaurants under new rules

TEXAS – More Texas bars could reopen as restaurants after the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission voted to ease restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The new rules approved by the TABC eliminate requirements that prevented many bars from reopening under Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The rules lift the requirement for an on-site kitchen and let bars count the sales from prepackaged food and food trucks as food revenue. The idea is to help bars raise their total revenue from food above 51%, which is the threshold needed to qualify for a food and beverage permit.

Abbott’s executive order prevents bars from reopening, but it allows restaurants to remain open at 50% capacity.

Any bar that opts to reclassify as a restaurant will be required to follow the same restrictions that currently apply to restaurants. That includes mandating masks, limiting occupancy to 50% and following health and sanitation procedures.

Bars that are not reclassified as restaurants will remain closed under Abbott’s order, issued June 26, which forced bars to close once again.

Source: El Paso Times