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Local bars reclassifying as restaurants to reopen

The establishments must limit their alcohol sales to less than 51% of total sales.

TEXAS, USA — More and more across Texas, bars that were forced close by Governor Greg Abbott are reopening again, but not as bars, instead, as restaurants.

Abbott's order on June 26 forced bars to close back down and scaled restaurant occupancies back down to 50%.

The move took effect by noon that day and left thousands of business owners across Texas scrambling once again.

RELATED: Texas bars must close except for to-go, restaurants go back to 50% capacity: Gov. Abbott

This was the second time the governor took action against the service industry in response to COVID-19.

Though, slowly since that date, many bars across the state have found a new way to reopen.

The businesses are reclassifying themselves as restaurants by limiting their alcohol sales.

Bars are defined by the state as a business that has 51% or more of its sales from alcohol.

If a business is able to stay under that margin with their food sales, they can be reclassified by the TABC as a restaurant.

This has forced some business like Triple Threat in Midland, which reopened on August 3 to expand their food menu, limit late night hours, and require everyone to purchase a food item.

The changes may feel unnecessary as an effective measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but they have presented business owners with the option to reopen, continue making money, and keep their staff employed.