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TX HB 1622 - Enabling more retail stores like Whip-In

Discussion in 'US - Southwest' started by jgreeson, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. jgreeson

    jgreeson Aficionado (125) Texas Feb 24, 2010

    I submit to the BA community that we need to get some traction going on House Bill 1622.

    Sorry this is long, but it's the TABC and the legislature's fault for the TABC Code to be so stupidly complex. tl;dr version at the bottom.

    First off, some background. A TABC "BG" license allows a retailers to sell beer and wine for both on AND off premise. This means that if the retailer so chooses, you can get a growler to go along with buying six-packs and bottles. This is essentially the license that allows places like Whip In in Austin and several Whole Foods locations to have a bar with taps, along with selling packaged beer and wine to go.

    While this is not an issue with major cities like Dallas, Austin or Houston (since they already allow BG permits), this bill will benefit those who live in the suburbs of Plano, Allen, Frisco, Fairview, McKinney, Carrollton, Bedford and any other city that has voted to allow beer and wine stores and restaurants to serve liquor. This bill is not restricted to these cities. I'm just familiar with these areas and not familiar with other cities that fall under this class.

    This bill will allow for cities who have already approved the sale of Beer and Wine to go, along with the Mixed Beverage permit for restaurants, to also allow the BG license to be obtained for restaurants and retailers that only want to serve beer and wine.

    Currently a RM/MB (Restaurant Mixed Beverage - on premise) permit costs a restaurant close to $6,000, while a BG (Beer and Wine - on/off premise) license would only cost $1,000. The prime example of a restaurant who would request only a BG license, would be small Italian places that would only want to serve wine, while perhaps a BBQ or a burger place would only want to serve beer. Today, these restaurants need to obtain a full liquor license (MB) regardless if they only wanted to serve beer or wine at their place.

    Another twist, in order for these cities to approve a BG license today, they would be required to hold another election to allow beer and wine only permits for restaurants. It would be confusing to voters because they had already approved the sale of beer and wine only, just not for on-premise consumption. Plus an election like this costs cities close to $13,000 to hold. This bill will save cities in this situation a lot of money, along with the smaller restaurants that only want to serve beer and wine close to $5,000 a year.

    tl;dr version below:
    The BAer benefit for this legislation would be more cities to allow places like the Whip-In in Austin that sells growlers. I know that Lonestar Beverages in Carrollton is dying to convert to a BG license ASAP. Also, it would allow your local Whole Foods to possibly convert into a version like on Park Lane in Dallas and those within Houston/Katy/Sugar Land and Austin.

    I feel that we need to get vocal about supporting HB 1622 like we have with SB 515-518.

    Here's OTT's directions on contacting the House's Licensing and Administrative Procedures committee:
  2. Phoenix2443

    Phoenix2443 Savant (335) Texas Jan 20, 2010

    I'm not clear how this bill changes things. I'm aware of the bg licenses but is this not a statewide available license?
  3. jgreeson

    jgreeson Aficionado (125) Texas Feb 24, 2010

    This is dealing with "wet" cities in counties that are "dry" that have previously held local option elections to allow "beer and wine" in places like grocery stores, and mixed beverages in restaurants. Pretty much every county outside Dallas, Tarrant, Travis, Harris are dry counties.

    The problem is that "wet" cities in these "dry" counties had local option elections that allow ONLY these two options for alcoholic beverages permits. Beer and Wine off-site (BQ) and full-liquor on-site (MB/RM). The city secretary cannot approve a BG license.

    HB 1622 will allow BG/V/Y, BE & BL licenses to be approved in cities that have voted for both "beer and wine" in stores and mixed beverages in restaurants, without having to have another local option election to approve them.
    blatherbeard and lonestarbev like this.

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