Gov. Abbott signs waiver allowing bars to sell mixed drinks to-go

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Sunday, June 28, 2020
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Gov. Abbott says he regrets opening bars up for Memorial Day weekend.

Gov. Greg Abbott approved a waiver on Saturday allowing restaurants and bars to serve mixed drinks to-go and for delivery, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

The waiver said restaurants and bars must have a Mixed Beverage Permit and can only sell drinks containing distilled spirits mixed and sealed by the business itself.

Previously, selling mixed drinks to-go wasn't allowed under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, but the governor's order waives that law.

The new order comes after many businesses struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after Abbott limited the sales of alcohol on Friday to combat a recent drastic spike in cases.

"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."

According to TABC, "Alcohol orders must be accompanied by a food order. 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."