AUSTIN (KFDX/KJTL) — Governor Greg Abbott Wednesday signed Texas House Bill 1024 into law, making cocktails to-go legal in Texas.
The bill makes an executive order issued by Gov. Abbott allowing Texas restaurants and bars to sell cocktails to-go during the COVID-19 pandemic permanent.
“Cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling hospitality businesses and prevented the permanent closure of many,” Kristi Brown, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Senior Director of State Government Relations said.
“Now that this measure is permanent, hospitality businesses will have increased stability as they begin the long path to recovery,” Brown said. “We applaud the Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott for supporting local businesses and for providing increased convenience to consumers.”
Texas is the tenth state to make a COVID-era cocktails to-go measure permanent.
More than 30 states began allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go as a COVID economic relief measure.
Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Montana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.
Dozens of other states are also considering legislation to extend or make permanent cocktails to-go measures.
Other market modernization efforts are also moving through the Texas Legislature including one bill to allow seven-day spirits sales statewide (HB 937) and others that would allow local option elections for seven-day spirits sales (SB 1013; HB 2232).
According to a statewide poll, 65% of Texas voters support cocktails-to-go legislation, 65% of Texans support seven-day sales at liquor stores and 61% support allowing seven-day liquor sales to be decided at the local level.