SHERIDAN — In a special meeting held at noon Tuesday, Sheridan City Council approved a bar and grill liquor license for the Sheridan Inn. A new license was issued for the remainder of the year, and a license renewal will cover 2014.
The council approved the license by a vote of 5-0. Councilors Robert Webster and Shelleen Smith were not present.
The license was the last available bar and grill liquor license for the city of Sheridan. The other three are held by the Rib and Chop House, Powder River Pizza and Frackelton’s, City Clerk Scott Badley said. The city received its fourth bar and grill liquor license from the Wyoming Legislature approximately two years ago, and the council decided to hold onto it until the right applicant and the right opportunity for economic development came along, Badley said.
“This gentleman is saving the Sheridan Inn, and we are ever so grateful,” Mayor Dave Kinskey said at the meeting.
Councilor Kristin Kelly said she is looking forward to community events being held at the Sheridan Inn again.
“It’s a committed community, and we haven’t just given up on the inn. We know its value and we’re going to keep going. If you don’t succeed you keep trying,” Kelly said. “I wish them the best of luck, and I think it’s important the community support them when it opens up, as well.”
Sheridan Inn owner Bob Townsend said he is currently visiting with two entities he thinks would be a good fit to operate the inn’s restaurant. He hopes to make a final decision soon.
“It gets us one step closer to being able to bring the inn alive,” Townsend said about the liquor license approval. “I have so many folks in the community ask me, ‘When are you going to open?’ and my question back to them is, ‘What part?’ Because now, for the first time in 48 years, we’re not just talking a restaurant. We’re talking rooms, and we want to have a much larger souvenir shop, and things like that.” Townsend said he hopes to have seven rooms on the second floor completed by March, the restaurant open by April and seven more rooms on the third floor open by May, if possible. The rooms that are currently being restored are in the wing that runs along Fifth Street, above the restaurant. Crews were installing a new geothermal heating and cooling system in the inn Tuesday. It is the first geothermal system in Sheridan. Rooms will maintain their original themes, and plaques honoring donors to the inn will be hung in the rooms, Townsend said.
“I really appreciate the entire community, the city, the county, the city council, being able to trust us enough with this last bar and grill license. We take that very seriously, and we hope to be able to make the community proud,” Townsend said.
The bar and grill will carry local liquors and beers, Townsend said. It is expected to open this spring.