AUSTIN, Texas - Life is returning to downtown Austin as today the TABC made it easier for bars to reopen as food establishments.
For many bar owners, it’s the chance to reopen and get back to work.
“Let’s move forward, we don’t need to keep stepping backwards, let’s move forward get that drink,” said Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance chairman Bob Woody. “We were able to come to an agreement, they called an emergency meeting and pushed this through for us so it’s a very big help."
For a bar to reopen, they need to have the ability to serve food, either by making it onsite or having it prepackaged beforehand and ready to be sold.
“It’s sad it’s had to come to this to change to an alcohol and beverage permit to adding food but it is a way out of the darkness,” said Woody.
Another option for bars is to partner with a food truck. The Key Bar on West 6th Street brought in a food truck from Taco Flats onto their property.
“People want jobs and people want bars open, I think the way we are doing it and the other places that are doing it is the right way to do it,” said Taco Flats owner Simon Madera.
Madera said the days of people crowding into bars just to socialize are gone, at least for now.
“This is not meant for people to cram into a bar like in the past, it’s meant to accommodate people that want to enjoy outside, eating good food and order 1 or 3 cocktails and they’re gone,” said Madera.
In order for a bar to reopen, they must apply for a new permit with the TABC.