(CBSDFW.COM) – Mixed drinks to-go are now allowed in Texas as bars throughout the state are forced to close again due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, according to the Texas Restaurant Association.
On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to close and for restaurants to go back to a 50% limited capacity as the state recently saw a sharp increase in new cases during the reopening process.
Bars, however, are allowed to remain open for delivery and takeout options, including for alcoholic beverages.
The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) announced Saturday that alcohol to-go options now include mixed drinks due to an expanded waiver from Abbott.
“This will provide immediate help to Texas restaurants and bars, many of which are fighting to stay in business in spite of the growing costs and decreased sales stemming from COVID-19,” the association said.
Mixed drinks to-go will require the following guidelines, according to the TRA:
- The restaurant must mix the drink onsite, combining distilled spirits with other beverages and/or garnishes.
- The restaurant must seal the mixed drink onsite with tape or an adhesive label that states the name of the restaurant and “alcoholic beverage.” The sealed mixed drink must then be placed in a bag that is sealed with a zip tie.
- Mixed drinks cannot be transported in the passenger area of a vehicle.
“With restaurants employing more than 1.3 million Texans and representing 51% of the food dollar, we simply cannot afford to let these critical businesses close for good,” said Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO of TRA. “Today’s announcement is an important step forward, giving many hope, and so we’re very grateful to Governor Abbott and our partners in the distilled spirits business for working with us to get restaurants some of the critical relief they need.”
Bars owners and managers talked to CBS 11 News on Friday about their reactions to the shutdowns.
“It’s a sucker punch,” Macy Moore, owner of HopFusion in Fort Worth, said. “This will be a pretty massive, massive hit.”
“I’m worried for our staff, I’m worried for a lot of bartenders and kitchen guys,” Timm Zyblut, general manager of Lee Harvey’s in Dallas, said. “They’re paycheck to paycheck and shift to shift.”