Does anyone know the required age to get into bars/clubs in Austin? I have heard both 18 and 21 and just wanted some clarification.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.
Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.
To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts
Not exactly. The technicality of serving food has nothing to do with it. There is no law prohibiting a bar, serving food or not, from admitting a minor, meaning someone under age 21. But nearly all of them ban minors, because they can use the door to control for age and not have to repeatedly check everyone as they order. The penalties are just too severe, and with Austin housing the headquarters of the Alcoholic Beverage Commission's peace officers, plus the huge University presence, bars get a lot of attention here.
And it matters not under Texas alcohol law what a "restaurant" is. There is a distinction between establishments that make 51% or more of their sales for alcohol and those who don't. Weapons laws, for instance, largely depend on the 51% rule. But being a "restaurant" or not doesn't matter. A bar can't just sell nachos and gain anything in alcohol status.
Bars, then, may admit minors. And if the minor's parent or guardian is present, they can give permission for the minor to drink. The bar, of course can refuse. Few bars, though, want to deal with that issue and so just don't let minors in, period. But it's not too uncommon for parents to allow a minor to drink wine or whatever with a meal. And restaurants admit minors.
What this means for Austin is that the minor can't go bar-hopping with the adults. There are, however a number of popular music venues that sell a lot of alcohol but do admit minors. But they mostly won't be in the downtown bar district.