On June 26th, Thousands of bars in Texas were ordered to close abruptly in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus in Texas. Under the Governors order, any establishments that earn 51% or more of its revenue from alcohol sales would need to shutter indefinitely.

Ian Vaughn, owner and founder of Lava Cantina, believed his business was misclassified. He stayed open after the June 26th shutdown but was ultimately ordered to close by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

For weeks since then, Vaughn has contended that Lava Cantina didn’t earn more than half of its revenue from alcohol sales. On Friday, July 17, he was able to prove that Lava Cantina makes 39% of its revenue from alcohol sales and 61% from food.

The trick was that he was allowed to lump live-music ticket sales in with food.

Vaughn believes as many as 1,500 other bars are classified incorrectly. But his success may lead to a change for other venues in Texas.

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