As the bar industry in El Paso grows, so do the concerns with the effects of drinking alcohol.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) invited alcohol-serving business owners to a community forum and reminded them of the regulations.
This is the first forum TABC held with the El Paso community along with restaurant and bar owners. The commission gave tips and addressed any issues that can occur when serving alcohol.
“If we’re at your location, we’re there for a reason. We just didn’t go down the street and pick you at random to go into your location and do an inspection of the location,” Paul Parent, Major of the West Texas Region with TABC said.
Parent told KTSM the forum was not just to educate and inform the community, but also to help businesses who serve alcohol stay in business.
The commission’s main focus is on locations that have the most issues.
“Here in El Paso, if we look at all of the permits both on-premise and off-premise, we have what are called priority locations,” Parent explained, “So they’re either a brand new location, they’ve had a complaint or violation. Out of all these permits that is only about 19% of the permits. It just makes good sense from an enforcement standpoint. I don’t need to visit the locations that are doing things correctly. I need to be at the locations that have issues.”
While bar owners said they got informed on TABC’s regulations, they also added that what happens outside their establishment is a responsibility as well.
“We don’t really consider our responsibility ending at our premises,” bar owner of Palomino Tavern, Austin Allen told KTSM, “We want to make sure that the individuals get home safe and that they’re not going to go out and be destructive or disorderly.”
Business owners said they’re also keeping in mind the responsibilities of serving alcohol to individuals and how it can affect others throughout the community.
“The nature of dealing with alcohol can be tricky and overserving leads to lots of issues,” Allen shared, “For us, we need to be responsible and make sure that when we serve, we’re looking out for the community as well.”
Starting September 1st, a new law will allow the delivery of alcohol with food for some Texas retailers with beer and wine permits.