These San Antonio bars have reopened as restaurants under new TABC guidelines

New TABC guidelines allowed bars to reclassify as restaurants

SAN ANTONIO – Several San Antonio-area bars have reopened this month after reclassifying as restaurants with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

At the end of July, the state allowed bars with full kitchens to reopen under certain guidelines that fall under Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, which shut down bars on June 26 to limit the spread of COVID-19.

According to TABC guidelines, bars with full kitchens can either apply for a food and beverage certificate or submit an alcohol sales reporting affidavit.

Bars must prove to TABC they can generate more than 51 percent of their sales from food or merchandise instead of alcohol.

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The affidavit can include projected sales and calculations for those establishments under their current business models.

Bars have also been given the option to tabulate gross receipts from the start of April through the end of July to prove less than 51 percent of their sales came from alcohol.

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“If you operate as a restaurant, you have to be willing to serve food for your entire opening hours,” TABC spokesperson Chris Porter recently told KSAT. “You can’t serve food from, you know, 8 to 9 p.m., then serve alcohol the rest of the time. That would essentially make you a bar.”

Bars that request a food and beverage certificate have to change their business model to incorporate permanent food service facilities, such as added kitchen capacity or permanent food trucks.

In San Antonio, more than two dozens bars have reclassified as restaurants as of Tuesday, according to TABC records. They are:

  • 210 Sports Cantina & Grill
  • Angry Elephant/The Roo Pub
  • Babcock Social Club
  • Bar Louie
  • Capisce Gentlemen’s Club/D’Angelo’s Italian Grill
  • Charlie Brown’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill
  • Eddy’s Sports Tavern
  • Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
  • Francis Bogside
  • Friendly Spot: Ice House in San Antonio
  • George’s Keep
  • Hanzo
  • Hill’s & Dale’s Ice House
  • Longtab Brewing Company
  • Lucy Cooper’s
  • Mad Pecker Brewing Co
  • Quarry Hofbrau & Beer Garden
  • Pick’s Bar
  • Pockets San Antonio
  • Sanchos: San Antonio Mexican Food, Cantina, Live Music
  • Sideliners Grill
  • Shenanigan's Sports Bar and Lounge
  • The Hangar
  • The Hanger Pub
  • Tucker’s
  • Whiskey Tree
  • The Winchester

TABC will audit and monitor sales for those operating bars to ensure their alcohol sales don’t exceed more than 51 percent of their total sales. Those who don’t comply could have their license suspended, Porter said.

He added that TABC will continue to conduct up to 2,000 inspections every week to look for potential violations.

Bars that reopen as restaurants must still follow the state and county safety guidelines and social distancing requirements.

Concerned citizens can email or call 1-888-THE-TABC to report a bar not following proper protocols.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.