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Texas restaurants, some bars can now serve mixed drinks to-go under extended waiver

The waiver extension allows restaurants and certain bars with a Mixed Beverage Permit to sell mixed drinks to-go as well as for delivery.

HOUSTON — Texas restaurants and some bars can now sell mixed drinks to-go during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new waiver approved Saturday by Gov. Greg Abbott.

The waiver extension allows restaurants and certain bars with a Mixed Beverage Permit to sell mixed drinks to-go as well as for delivery. Under the extended waiver, businesses can sell drinks containing distilled spirits as long as they are mixed and sealed by the business itself with the business’ name on the container.

Back in March, Gov. Abbott issued a waiver allowing restaurants to deliver beer, wine and mixed drinks with a food order while their dining rooms were closed due to the coronavirus. Under the initial waiver, Texas restaurants could only serve liquor to-go in manufacturer-sealed bottles and with the purchase of food.

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For businesses serving alcohol delivery and pickup, they must hold a Mixed Beverage Permit and have permanent food service capabilities on the premise. Alcohol orders must also accompany a food order and follow all other requirements in TABC’s Industry Notice.

Gov. Abbott on Friday issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. Under the order, bars were to close – except for to-go service – and restaurants were to reduce capacity to 50 percent starting Monday. Also, outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

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