The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on Tuesday morning hosted an emergency meeting on Zoom at where amendments were passed that will allow bars to reopen. Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency order during the pandemic had prevented operations.
In an article written by Lauren Drewes Daniels for dallasobserver.com, TABC rules required that restaurants licensed to serve alcohol use commercial-grade cooking equipment and prepare the food on-site. To qualify as a restaurant and be allowed to reopen with limited capacity under the governor’s order, a business also had to earn at least 51 percent of its revenue from food sales. Bars were closed, but some recently began expanding kitchens and food service to shift their sales percentages and qualify to reopen as restaurants.
The amendments approved Tuesday eliminate the requirement for commercial-grade cooking equipment, allow pre-made food brought in from other locations and permit beverage license holders to partner with food trucks and count those sales toward the 51% minimum.
Bars seeking to make the change will not need to supply floor plans of the areas devoted “primarily” to food service or redo menus to emphasize food over drinks.