New rule allows certain bars to reopen as restaurants

Local News

MISSION, Texas (KVEO) — The pandemic has caused bars across Texas to close their doors.

Now, the Texas Alcohol & Beverage Commission recently changed the way alcohol sales are counted. Which can allow certain bars to reopen as restaurants.

Jaime Morales co-owns the Whistling Duck, a family friendly bar in Mission.

“There’s something for everyone,” said Morales. “June rolled around, and it was actually looking to be a month that was kind of on track to be the same type of month we had the year before. However, the number of COVID cases started rising in June.”

That is when the governor’s shutdown order went into effect, closing places where alcohol sales made up more than 51 percent of total revenue.

“If we lose some money, we’re willing to do that, but it can only go on for so long. So, opening up our dining room is crucial in order for us to continue operating,” Morales said.

Now, the TABC has changed the way it counts to get to 51 percent.

“Hopefully, we’ll hear something back quickly on it,” Morales said.

The change allows bars like the Whistling Duck to use their sales from April 2020 to now, to apply for a new condition that would allow them to reopen at a certain capacity.

“To me we’ve always been more of a restaurant than a bar,” said Morales.

The bar was able to receive federal funding to pay their employees since the shutdown, Morales is hoping to reopen to continue to serve their loyal customers.

Whistling Duck said they will continue with curbside service until they are approved.

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