ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock City Council approved an ordinance Thursday evening that will allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol later.
Council members voted 6 to 1 on the first reading of an ordinance that extends serving hours to 2 a.m. for all restaurants and bars in the city limits.
Before, there were two sets of rules.
According to city leaders, bars and restaurants in Travis County can serve alcohol until 2 a.m. Meanwhile, those establishments within Williamson County could serve until midnight Sunday through Friday, and until 1 a.m. on Saturday.
Michelle Ly, who owns The Rock Sports Bar & Grill in downtown Round Rock, said it has put businesses like hers at a disadvantage.
“I think this will put us on a more equal playing field,” Ly said.
City leaders decided to vote on this proposal after seeing the overwhelming support that voters showed in November when they agreed to allow the sale of all alcoholic beverages within city limits. Previously some establishments in parts of the city could only sell beer and wine or make the costly decision to operate as a private club.
“It really boils down to a fairness issue of allowing our businesses to be able to compete on a fair ground here,” Mayor Craig Morgan said, “and the ones that are already here compete with sister cities that already have it and allow it.”
Morgan said the city may have to revisit its noise ordinance, though, because he’s heard that some people are concerned about what the noise may be like if the bars are allowed to stay open a little longer.
The second and final reading for the vote is expected on Dec. 20.