A spokesman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said Wednesday evening that establishments that have permanent kitchen facilities but make more revenue off alcohol than food may not be open for dine-in service, but are allowed to offer to-go alcohol with food orders.
A story posted in this spot earlier quoted Chris Porter, PIO for the TABC, as saying that these businesses—which included hundreds of eateries across Texas, including many in Austin—were supposed to be closed alongside bars that were shuttered by Gov. Greg Abbott's Friday order.
In our original story, Porter said executive orders throughout the pandemic "have defined bars as businesses, regardless of food preparation, which generate more than 51% from alcohol sales. With this latest executive order, those locations are required to remain closed."
Shortly after the story was posted, Porter retracted his statement in an email to Austonia, saying he "mistakenly gave you the wrong information."
He confirmed in his Wednesday evening email that dining establishments with food service that make 51% or more of their revenue off alcohol are still considered bars and must close their dining areas, he said, but may remain open on a to-go only basis.
"Bars which have a permanent kitchen facility cannot allow customers for dine-in service, but may offer alcohol to-go with food orders," Porter said in an email to Austonia late Wednesday.
Abbott's order closed bars but allowed mixed drinks to be sold with to-go food orders from restaurants for the first time in modern Texas history.
A press statement released by the Abbott's office on Friday states that "bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 PM today," but that, "these businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission."
On Saturday, the day after the order, the TABC released guidelines covering the new alcohol-to-go allowances.
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