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Texas Governor Lets TABC Waive Pricy Late Fees to Give Relief to Bar Owners


Patrons belly up at San Antonio's Squeezebox before the pandemic hit. - COURTESY PHOTO / CECIL RODARTE AND ADOLF ACOSTA
  • Courtesy Photo / Cecil Rodarte and Adolf Acosta
  • Patrons belly up at San Antonio's Squeezebox before the pandemic hit.
As Texas bars prepare to open their doors Friday, the Governor’s office said the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission can waive late fees for businesses whose license and permit renewals have lapsed into — or past — the state's 30-day grace period.

The waiver — adopted to help bars and restaurants as they try to recover from the coronavirus pandemic — only applies to renewals with an expiration date on or after March 13, 2020, according to a news release from the state.

According to the TABC website, licenses and permits required to operate a bar in Texas include the Mixed Beverage Permit and the Mixed Beverage Late Hours Permit. Under normal circumstances, those carry hefty fines of up to $300 per day if violated.

Texas bars are allowed to open this Friday, so long as they follow mandates set out in Governor Abbott’s order earlier this week. Among the requirements:  that they operating at 25% capacity and practice safe social distancing to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

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