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State legislators push for to-go alcohol sales to become permanent

Alcohol-to-go is now a law in Texas
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-16 20:56:58-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A pair of Texas legislators from Dallas-Fort Worth have introduced bills within the Texas House and Senate that would allow Texas restaurants with a mixed beverage license to permanently sell alcoholic drinks to-go.

District 99 Representative Charlie Geren and District 9 Senator Kelly Hancock introduced House Bill 1024 and Senate Bill 298 respectively on Jan. 7, 2021.

On March 18, 2020 — Governor Greg Abbott issued a waiver to allow the delivery of alcohol with food purchases. According to the Texas Tribune, that waiver was supposed to last until May 1, but was extended indefinitely.

YOLA Cocina Mexicana is just one of the restaurants in the Coastal Bend taking advantage of to-go alcohol sales. Owner Ryan Rios said one of the reasons his business is able to continue through the pandemic is the community.

"We were fortunate that a lot of our customers ordered cocktails to-go and beer and wine to-go to help support the restaurant...[and]— maybe — enjoy some of those simpler times before the shutdown," Rios said. "They kept us open and busy during the shutdown for 2020, but every dollar adds up."

Rios said the passing of the bills in the Texas Legislature could lead to several benefits down the line.

"I think it would be a great thing," he said. "I don’t know of any negative stories that have come from cocktails to-go and, I think that if everyone follows the law, and follows the rules and drinks responsibly and serves responsibly, that they can be a great addition to Texas restaurants."