In a unique display of bipartisanship, ordering a cocktail to go should soon be allowed by state law. Today the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) issued an industry notice explaining the details to all those who dabble in the trade of fine (or not-so-fine) spirits.
On April 28, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1024, which allows certain restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption. This measure was put in place on a temporary, yet ongoing, basis after COVID-19 left many bars shuttered and restaurants closed to dine-in service.
“Gov. Abbott’s office has indicated that he intends to sign this legislation into law in approximately 10 days,” the TABC reported Monday. Once the ink hits the paper, House Bill 1024 will immediately become law.
Many restaurants, like Rusty Tacos, said last year that the increase in business from selling margaritas to-go and cocktail kits allowed them to keep employees on staff in the early months of the pandemic.
For those in the service industry, if you hold a mixed beverage permit (MB) and a food and beverage certificate (FB), or a private club (N) permit and a food and beverage permit, your retail establishment is eligible to offer consumer pick up or delivery of alcohol.
Third parties can also make these deliveries, as can independent contractors holding a consumer delivery permit (CD).
One caveat, pick up and delivery of alcohol must be accompanied with a food order that is prepared on the business’ premises. But there is no food-to-alcohol ratio. (And a bag of chips!)
Malt beverages, beer and wine need to be in their original containers. Sealed, of course. Distilled spirits can be delivered in original containers up to 375 milliliters (like the popular cocktail kits). Or in the case of house-mixed margaritas, tequila and mix must be stored in a tamper-proof container clearly labeled with the permit holder's business name and the words "alcoholic beverage."
Just like at a bar, no booze for drunk people or those under 21 years of age. Finally, per the TABC, “Alcoholic beverages picked up or delivered under this authority may not be transported in the passenger area of a motor vehicle.”
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