Austin restaurant owners discuss possibility of alcohol-to-go sticking around

As businesses prepare to re-open at a limited capacity, Gov. Greg Abbott says alcohol-to-go could be here to stay.

Alcohol-to-go is arguably the most spirited thing to come to the Lone Star State during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be available to Texans even after restaurants are given the option to reopen at 25 percent capacity Friday. 

RELATED: Abbott says alcohol to-go could become permanent in Texas

"I've gotta tell you it's one of the things I hear most about from my fellow Texans," Abbott said. "They have really enjoyed this aspect of this challenge."

Abbott says the Texas legislature will have to pass a law next session allowing alcohol-to-go to stay, but that based on what he's heard from constituents across the state, he thinks it should pass.


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Adam Winters, owner of Cruzteca Mexican Kitchen, is excited by the idea. He says the restaurant is known for their margaritas. "I think that any restaurant that's selling alcohol would continue selling it to-go if given the opportunity," Winters said. "It's helped keep the hours in the kitchen and doors open for now."

He admitted it would have been nice to use the stock they had on hand, as the restaurant had to purchase alcohol in pre-sealed containers to comply with TABC regulations. "But anything helps, anything I can sell in these times to keep the doors open," Winters said.

RELATED: RELATED: State stay-at-home order will expire on April 30, first phase of businesses reopening May 1

RELATED: Texas Workforce Commission works on guidelines for people heading back to work during COVID-19

Because of the TABC regulations, Paola Guerra, co-owner of the Buenos Aires Cafe on East Sixth Street, opted out of selling cocktails, instead selling the restaurant's specialty, Argentine wines.

"I feel very responsible as an owner because we literally are responsible for thirty different families that depend on this job and us doing well," Guerro said.

RELATED: Austin restaurant owners weigh costs of safely opening dining room services

Guerro says she's not sure if the restaurant will be able to continue alcohol-to-go, or if they will even be able to continue selling alcohol. Renewing their liquor license is one of the many challenging choices they're currently facing.


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