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It’s now legal in Texas for beer, wine and mixed drinks to be included in to-go food orders.
One of the few silver linings to come out of a difficult year for Texas bars and restaurants — to-go cocktails — is now state law.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed a bill permanently allowing Texans to include alcohol in take-out food orders from restaurants. During the pandemic, Abbott introduced cocktails to-go as a temporary emergency order to help hospitality businesses endure the hardships of prolonged shutdowns.
Photo Courtesy Texas Restaurant Association
Member of the Texas Restaurant Association celebrate HB 1024's passing in front of the state capitol.
“Gov. Abbott’s emergency waiver allowing alcohol to-go during the pandemic saved thousands of restaurant jobs, creating a new revenue stream and unleashing the innovation that restaurants will need to rebuild from the pandemic,” Texas Restaurant Association CEO Emily Williams Knight said in a release. “We still have a long road to recovery ahead, but with tools like alcohol to-go, the restaurant industry’s future is brighter than ever in Texas.”
House Bill 1024 allows restaurants with a food and beverage certificate and either a mixed beverage permit or a private club registration from TABC to sell beer, wine and cocktails with food orders that are purchased for pickup or delivery. That includes through third-party delivery companies such as GrubHub, Doordash and Favor.
The bill requires that all alcoholic beverages be sealed either in their original, manufacturer-created container or a tamper-proof vessel that's labeled with the business’ name and the words “alcoholic beverage.”
The legislation, passed overwhelmingly in the Texas Legislature, becomes effective immediately.
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