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Bars and breweries reinvent their business to reopen

TABC reported receiving over 700 Food and Beverage Certificate requests and issued 500 to allow businesses to reopen before it's too late.

AUSTIN, Texas — You might have noticed more bars and breweries are reopening even though Gov. Greg Abbott did not give them the go-ahead just yet. 

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission heard the cry of many business owners and changed their guidance to allow businesses to either show that they recently had less than 51% alcohol sales or use alcohol sales projections and apply for a Food and Beverage Certificate to reopen. 

"It's been a back-and-forth game for everyone," said The Brass Tap General Manager Charilyn Maye Peery.

Peery said The Brass Tap Beer Bar in Round Rock reopened Aug. 10 as a restaurant. 

"We still have the amazing 60 beers on draft, six down in the beer garden and over 180 in bottles, cans and bombers," said Peery. 

RELATED: Some businesses with a 51% TABC designation may qualify as restaurants

The only way she could reopen the bar under the governor's orders was by getting a Food and Beverage certification from TABC and selling more food than alcohol. 

TABC also requires the business to have a permanent kitchen or a food truck on the premises. To make that happen, Brass Tap partnered with WiseGuys Chicago Eatery to make sure they can sell enough food.

"You can have food, you can watch entertainment, everything's here," said WiseGuys Chicago Eatery President Bill Nyshay. "It was a perfect spot for us to be." 

Sam Nickell, a regular at both businesses, agrees there couldn't be a better collaboration. 

"Like, this is perfect, the perfect lunch," said Nickell. "We can get the sandwich that we want and have a drink in a great atmosphere." 

Nyshay said getting a food truck and figuring out the logistics weren't easy or cheap. 

RELATED: How some restaurants are expanding during the COVID-19 pandemic

"By the time we get done with everything, we're looking at over close to $40,000," said Nyshay. "It was totally worth it, wouldn't change a thing."

Collaborations like this are happening all over our area. Just recently, Zilker Brewing Company reopened, partnering with Spicy Boys Fried Chicken. 

TABC reported receiving over 700 Food and Beverage Certificate requests and issued 500 to allow businesses to reopen before it's too late.

"This is absolutely the new norm," said Peery. "For us to get through this together, we need to be together."

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