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New COVID-19 waiver allows Texas restaurants to sell alcohol to-go

New COVID-19 waiver allows Texas restaurants to sell alcohol to-go

Vino Vino Austin bar restaurant rose wine glass bottle
This wine can now be taken to-go. Vino Vino/Facebook

Governor Greg Abbott tossed a major lifesaver to Texas restaurants on March 18 by issuing a waiver allowing them to deliver alcoholic beverages with food purchases to patrons. That includes beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

The governor also directed the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to waive certain provisions to allow manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of alcoholic beverages to repurchase or sell back unopened product.

These waivers are in response to the financial hardship caused by COVID-19 that has so dramatically impacted the hospitality industry.

Alcohol sales are a major source of income for restaurants, and the measure will allow patrons to still enjoy their favorite cocktails, even if it's served in an inglorious to-go cup.

"The State of Texas is committed to supporting retailers, restaurants, and their employees," Governor Abbott said in a statement. "These waivers will allow restaurants to provide enhanced delivery options to consumers during this temporary period of social distancing."

Restaurants with a mixed beverage permit can now sell beer, wine, or mixed drinks for delivery as long as they are accompanied by food purchased from the restaurant.

Maybe in the post-coronavirus world, they'll let the waiver remain. They oughta.

The accompanying "buy-back" waiver allows alcohol distributors and manufacturers to repurchase excess inventory from restaurants, bars, and clubs affected by event cancellations due to COVID-19. Some restaurants have not reopened, and now that alcohol can be saved.