Local Bars are Finding Ways to Reopen

With no word from the state on when bars, breweries and wineries can reopen, local establishments are changing their business model.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is allowing 51% establishments to apply for a food and beverage permit, which would allow them to reopen as a restaurant if they have a kitchen onsite or a permanent food truck.

Aaron Cohen, co-owner of The Angry Elephant, received a permit and reopened both locations this week. He says at least 50% of sales must come from food.

“The biggest difference is that we are requiring that you purchase a food item to get alcohol,” said Cohen.

Chris Steele, co-owner of Blackwater Draw Brewing Company, said with their taproom closed for more than 100 days this year and no word from Governor Greg Abbott, their only option is to get back in the food business.

Steele started a GoFundMe fundraiser with a goal of $50,000 to purchase a food truck.

“The only way to open at this point is to change your business model. You have to be a restaurant to be open,” said Steele.

Both business owners said it has been frustrating to have no indication when bars might reopen in Texas, but in the meantime, they appreciate the community’s support.

Listen to “The Angry Elephant reopens with new TABC permit” on Spreaker.

Listen to “Blackwater Draw starts GoFundMe to purchase food truck” on Spreaker.