A Breakdown Of How Much Money Was Spent On Booze At The Top Bars, Clubs, Restaurants, Venues And Hotels Within Dallas Proper In February 2020.

Welcome to Bar Raised, our recurring column that proves that Texans like to spend copious amounts of their income participating in the Great American Pastime. We know this because, as Reddit user BadLemur once pointed out, the Texas Comptroller keeps tabs on that sort of thing and makes all that info public record. Any establishment in the state that holds a Mixed Beverage license must report all sales revenue generated from the sale of liquor, beer and wine at their establishments on a monthly basis. The comptroller, in turn, puts all that info into a conveniently navigable database. And then we break down Dallas’ numbers for you here.

It’s safe to say that we’re generally gobsmacked by these monthly look-backs at how much money is spent on booze in Dallas bars, clubs, restaurants, venues, hotels and convention centers in a given month.

But this look back at February’s numbers definitely feels even more shocking than usual. (Worth noting: It takes the TABC about a month to process these numbers, which is why we don’t have March’s numbers yet, and why these posts are always a month behind.)

Considering the Dallas County-wide shelter in place order and the City of Dallas’ own state of disaster declaration (with its subsequent mandate that all bars in Dallas close for the time being), scanning February’s numbers truly feels like a look into an entirely different world — one where people recklessly spent their money with abandon, without worry about where their next paycheck may come from or whether spending their money on “one more shot” is really the best use of their funds.

The last full month of bar sales in Dallas before the coronavirus pandemic swept into the United States, February’s snapshot feels genuinely eye-opening, like one last look back at the world before it changed.

For the second month in a row, February’s numbers outpaced the previous year’s numbers for the same month, with February 2020’s numbers accounting for $7 million more than February 2019.

As far as the big earners, it’s mostly the usual suspects, with one notable entry coming in the form of the 20th-ranked newcomer: The new Virgin Hotel in the Design District.

Considering the mass closures of bars in the middle of this past month, March’s numbers should almost certainly show a massive dip in sales — especially in light of the TABC refusing to allow establishments without food service to sell cocktails to-go during this time.

Does that mean Dallas isn’t drinking as much as usual? Not necessarily! One study shows that Texans are leading the country in alcohol consumption in the wake of the pandemic’s arrival.

Even so, once they drop at the end of April, don’t expect March’s numbers to be anywhere near even approaching February’s sales.

While tepidly awaiting those figures, take a look at how things fared among the top 20 sellers in Dallas in February.

Dallas Establishments With Top Gross Alcohol Sales For February 2020:

  2. LEVY RESTAURANTS (American Airlines Center): $1,512,680
  3. SALC, INC. (Hilton Anatole): $1,159,106
  5. HAPPIEST HOUR, LLC: $787,784
  6. GILLEY’S DALLAS: $753,312
  7. SHERATON HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTER (Sheraton Dallas Hotel): $749,306
  8. DFB CAPITAL LLC (Katy Trail Ice House): $647,596
  9. NICK & SAM’S STEAK & FISH HOUSE: $596,326
  10. HOSPITALITY INTERNATIONAL INC (The Ritz-Carlton – Dallas): $590,210
  11. DALLAS REGENCY CORPORATION (Hyatt Regency Dallas): $557,146
  12. COWBOY’S RED RIVER: $466,310
  14. ESCAPADE 2001 DALLAS: $453,094
  15. VIDORRA: $449,385
  17. SIDECAR SOCIAL: $429,573
  18. EPIC ABS LLC (The Statler): $423,626
  19. TE DESEO: $414,840
  20. VIRGIN HOTELS DALLAS: $413,697

Total alcohol sales in Dallas in February 2020: $77,694,792
January 2020 total: $73,952,287.

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