Lubbock bars reopening as restaurants under TABC rules

Lubbock bars reopening as restaurants

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Last week, TABC offered the opportunity for bars to change their business models and reopen.

The Lantern Tavern in Lubbock is one bar that has registered as a restaurant by filling out a food and beverage certificate, agreeing to try and make more money from food sales instead of alcohol.

In Texas, if 51 percent or more of your sales come from alcohol, you’re considered a bar.

Shane Blum, owner of The Lantern Tavern, says his bar has been closed for 50 days straight.

“Pretty much anything to keep the doors open. We still have to pay rent, we still have to pay all these utilities and everything else,” Blum said.

By filling out that certificate, The Lantern Tavern agreed to change their business model and start functioning as a restaurant when they open on Sunday. This includes removing bar stools, social distancing tables and limiting capacity under the same guidelines as restaurants.

“It normally takes 60 days to get it. So I was like, ‘Oh, well, I’m not going to do that for 60 days, who knows?’ But then I sent an application anyway. The TABC contacted me and they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, we’re speeding it up.’ So it actually only took us about a week to get the certification.”

As a restaurant, there will be more of a focus on food sales.

“If you want to come in and just get like one drink and go, we’re not going to push food on you, but if you and your party are going to hang out for a while, then we’re going to require food, just because we have to keep up that almost 50/50 standard sales of food and alcohol.”

Shane hopes that people will enjoy the ambience and make memories again, just like in the past.

If you’re a bar owner and are thinking about taking up this TABC opportunity, visit their website here.

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