Local restaurants react to potential permanent alcohol to-go sales

Local News

Texas House passes House Bill 1024 that will allow permanent alcohol sales to-go with food purchase

ODESSA, Texas (ABC Big 2/FOX 24) – Local restaurants may soon be allowed to permanently serve alcohol-to-go with food purchases. The Texas House has passed Bill 1024.

The pandemic has been hard for local restaurants but if this news becomes law, restaurants say it will be a big help to recovery.

“The past year just really slowed down the entire service industry. You know the entire restaurant industry was hit pretty hard by it,” said Rick Stewart, Manager at Cork & Pig Tavern.

Stewart has been in the restaurant industry for 25 years but says the pandemic has brought new challenges.

“Trying to do business at a strictly to-go standpoint when we’re strictly a restaurant that’s known for a great atmosphere and great food here… just trying to make to-go work so we can stay afloat,” Stewart said.

But one thing that kept many restaurants alive was Governor Abbott’s waiver to allow them to serve alcoholic drinks to-go as long as the customer buys food.

“We did it, in the beginning, we took full advantage of whatever we could to try to save whatever sales we could,” Stewart said.

But this waiver may become permanent with the Texas House passing Bill 1024.

Michael Coley is a bartender at Frisky’s Restaurant and Brewery in Odessa. He says it would be a big help.

“If it gets passed we’ll definitely open up the whole avenue and go forth from there and let people take what they want home and you know package it up correctly and send it out,” Coley said.

And for frequent restaurant-goers like Marco Salcido, he’s glad there could be a new way to support local restaurants even when the pandemic ends.

“I think it will give everyone the opportunity to keep things going and turning upward right, is always the goal, and I think it would keep businesses pursuing different areas and ways to make money,” said Salcido.

House Bill 1024 will now head to the Texas Senate. If passed there, it will head to Gov. Abbott’s desk to become a law.

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April 22 2021 09:00 am