AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texans can now take a margarita, to-go.
On Wednesday night, Gov. Greg Abbott announced an emergency waiver allowing restaurants to deliver alcohol.
Thursday, the state clarified — that means curbside alcohol pick-up, too.
Under Texas law, restaurants that have a Mixed Beverage Permit can only sell alcohol on the premises, and also can’t deliver alcohol to consumers without also having a Food and Beverage Certificate (FB). TABC temporarily suspended these restrictions, though, so that restaurants with a Mixed Beverage Permit can conduct “to-go” alcohol sales and alcohol deliveries.
In 2019, the Texas Legislature authorized beer-to-go from craft breweries and sealed alcohol delivery for retailers with wine and beer permits. This waiver takes it a step further, lifting restrictions on restaurants.
Now, those delivery and curbside pick-up are both options for any restaurant that’s been forced to stop dine-in service because of the spread of coronavirus and that has “permanent food service capabilities.”
“I don’t think anybody ever anticipated for this to happen, where you think the whole service industry’s closed,” said Ellis Winstanley of El Arroyo. “It’s heart-wrenching.”
His operation got up and running with drink deliveries as soon as they could.
“We were out of tequila in like, 45 minutes,” he said.
El Arroyo started pairing bottles of their mix with small bottles of tequila.
Then, they began offering delivery jobs to anyone in the service industry without work after the changes at restaurants and bars. Winstanley said as of Thursday, they were able to hire back nearly 50 people.
“That’s what we were focused on.”
On Thursday afternoon, they got word they could also start selling their margaritas to patrons at the window to take home.
There are a few rules for curbside pick-up:
- The alcohol has to be sold with food prepared at the business.
- The alcohol is delivered in the original container, sealed by the manufacturer
- All distilled spirits are delivered in a container that is 375 milliliters or less
There are a few rules for delivery:
- Deliveries may only be made to a location where the sale of that type of alcohol is legal, within the county where the business is located, or up to two miles beyond the city limits in which the business is located if that city crosses a county line.
- Recipients of the delivery must not be intoxicated
- Recipients must present valid proof of their identity and age of at least 21 years old
For more on what kind of permits a business needs, see the below chart: