With committee approval, Texas Lege is one step closer to making carryout cocktails permanent

click to enlarge Calahan’s Pub in San Antonio is one the Texas restaurants offering a variety of cocktails to-go. - Instagram / calahanspizza
Instagram / calahanspizza
Calahan’s Pub in San Antonio is one the Texas restaurants offering a variety of cocktails to-go.
A committee of the Texas House of Representatives has approved wider debate of a cocktails-to-go bill, a significant step toward permanently loosening the state's strict alcohol laws.

The House Licensing and Administrative Procedures (LAP) Committee unanimously passed HB 1024 Wednesday, a step along the way to making permanent a temporary order that lets bars and restaurants sell mixed drinks for takeout.

In a bid to help restaurants survive the pandemic, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last June temporarily cleared businesses to sell to-go cocktails, so long as they are in sealed, tamper-proof containers and accompanied by a food item.

Introduced by Texas State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, and State Sen. Kelly Hancock, D-Fort Worth in January, HB 1024 would enshrine that order as a state law.

“For several months now, cocktails to-go has proven to be a vital part of survival during COVID-19 for Texas businesses, and making this measure permanent will only provide increased stability in the future," said Kristi Brown, senior director of State Government Relations for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, in a statement trumpeting the vote. "We thank the House LAP committee for moving this measure forward and encourage the full House to take up and pass this bill as soon as possible.”

The bill now is set to be considered by the full Texas House. It would still need approval by the Texas Senate and the governor before becoming law.

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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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