Round Rock votes to extend alcohol serving hours to 2 a.m.
Last call in Round Rock will be a little later for some bars and restaurants in 2019. Round Rock City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to approved an ordinance to extend serving hours to 2 a.m. for all restaurants and bars in the city limits.
“Customers have been asking about it, they’re excited. They’re saying, ‘when is it going to happen?’” said Minerva Villarreal, owner of Long Branch Saloon in downtown Round Rock.
Villarreal said on Friday she already applied with the TABC to extend the hours at her bar. She was told that it could take 45 to 60 days to get approved.
Employee hours will have to be altered, she said, then they’ll see how the business changes. “We’re hoping there will be more money, of course,” said Villarreal.
Another hope for the owners of Long Branch Saloon is once the hours are extended, bar patrons will stay in one place and not hit the road.
“At midnight, they’re rushing to continue on their partying, they’re rushing to other bars in Travis County,” said Villarreal. “Sometimes you’re concerned about that.”
Before, only bars and restaurants in Travis County inside Round Rock city limits could serve alcohol until 2 a.m., and the bars and restaurants in city limits of Williamson County could serve until midnight Sunday through Friday and until 1 a.m. on Saturday.
“This is making it a little more fair for our restaurants and bars that are in Williamson County,” said Sara Bustilloz with the City of Round Rock.
In November, voters approved the local option change with 81 percent voting in favor of allowing the sale of all alcoholic beverages throughout the city.
Next up for Council is to focus on strengthening the city noise ordinance in the new year. “(Residents downtown are) frustrated in general with the noise it’s something they’d like to take a look at anyway,” said Bustilloz.
The noise ordinance is expected to be taken up by council in January.