SAN ANGELO, TX – As the Texas economy struggles to comeback after the Coronavirus shut down, one industry still suffers.
As previously reported, on June 26, Governor Greg Abbott forced every bar door be closed, putting thousands of business owners and employees with out a job or way to make income. This caused some protests in many large cities like Austin and then even in San Angelo on June 27 when, "Bar Owners Protest Being Forced to Go Broke."
Weeks have passed while small time bar owners are going broke, forces to be remain closed, while restaurants with bars, such as Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Hooters are perceived to be making a killing. Now the TABC has provided a pathway for these bar owners to ew-open, and earn revenue.
In a Notice sent out to bars across Texas on July 30 the TABC wrote:
If your business has recently been operating at less than 51% alcohol sales, you may complete and submit TABC’s Affidavit Reporting Alcohol Sales to qualify as a restaurant under GA-28. This calculation must be based on your business’s gross receipts from April 1 through the date of submission to TABC.
This means bars like Shenanigans, the Concho Pearl Icehouse, and many other bars that also have in-house restaurants are allowed to open their doors to patrons as long as they sell them more food than alcohol. This has added a number of new additions to your favorite places.
The Concho Pearl added an entire new menu filled with Cowboy Sushi, Brisket Asado, Ribs, and more. Since the Pearl, as it is called, can reopen you will still be able to get their The Santa ‘Rita, Island Pearl, or their Cucumber Mojito alcoholic beverages.
Shenanigan's Sports Bar and Restaurant is another formerly-closed bar that was given the opportunity to reopen. "We changed ours license to a food and beverage. We never had it that way before even though we qualified," said Derrick Hoffman owner of Shenanigan's. "Never mattered till COVID."
So far at Shenenigans things seem back to normal.
"Glad to allow people to have a place to come and watch a game," said Hoffman. "We will still be focusing on to-go and still have had busy to-go sales even after opening."
TABC Public Information Officer Chris Porter said that TABC will continue to inspect and audit locations to ensure they are meeting the requirements of the governor’s executive orders-- meaning that food sales must be greater than 50 percent of total revenue. Businesses found to be in violation of the orders, including those that are operating as bars in violation of the order, can face possible penalties including a 30-day suspension of their license to sell alcohol.
Hoffman claims he is ready to maintain those sales. "We are closing at midnight instead of 2 a.m. to help with that and may need to close earlier than that in the future if sales get out of wack," concluded Hoffman.