Soon customers will likely be able to order drinks a little later in the City of Round Rock.
Round Rock City Council is considering an ordinance that will apply to all bars, restaurants and hotels in city limits. City leaders said the decision is really about evening the playing field for all business owners.
“You've got dance country, craft beer, the cantina bars, you've got it all down here, but we're just definitely lacking those hours,” said Summer Decker, general manager of Brass Tap in Round Rock.
The hours Decker is referring to have to do with alcohol sales. Round Rock establishments selling beer, wine, or liquor in Williamson County can only do so until 12 am Sunday-Friday and 1 am on Saturday.
Meanwhile, just across the county line the alcohol sales laws are different. “I mean it's really just a situation none of us has understood, because you can literally skip right over to the other side of Highway 45 and everything is open until 2 am,” said Heather Roemer who lives in Round Rock.
“Midnight rolls around and I'm kicking people out at 12:15 and they're like, ‘I guess we'll go to Third Base,’” Decker said.
Thursday, Round Rock City Council members voted to give all business owners the same opportunity to succeed. “So we decided it was time to move forward with the extended bar hours as well,” said Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan.
However, some people who live in the city worry longer bar hours could mean less sleep, because they say the bars play loud music late at night already.
"It would be very unfair for you to extend the bar hours without first addressing the noise ordinance," said Greg Kirwin, who spoke at the council meeting Thursday.
“You can hear it eight blocks away, inside your house, double-paned windows, with the tv on, and that's not fair,” Kirwin added. If Thursday’s 6-1 vote by city council holds up on second reading, all permitted establishments in the city will be able to sell alcoholic beverages until 2 am any day of the week.
Decker said that's something to toast to. “We’re literally making history in Round Rock right now, making it more conducive for people to come on down and have a really good time,” said Decker.
If the ordinance is approved on second reading at the next council meeting, the Round Rock City Clerk will submit the change to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Business owners wishing to take advantage of the extended hours will then have to apply for a late hours permit through TABC.