SHERIDAN — Today is the final day for advertising the availability of a $1,500 retail liquor license currently owned by the city. To date, five entities have applied for the license, and City Council will soon begin the process of reviewing applicants before choosing a buyer.
Applications for the license are due by the end of the day Monday.
There is a Council meeting Monday night, but City Clerk Scott Badley said the earliest the applications could be considered by the Council would be its Feb. 16 meeting since a public hearing regarding the applications will need to be advertised for two weeks, as required by state statute.
Badley said once applications are received, the clerk’s office will review them to make sure they are complete, send them to the Department of Revenue Liquor Division in Cheyenne for review, advertise the public hearings regarding the applications, give them to Council members for review and then place them on a future agenda for a public hearing and for Council discussion and action.
City Council has wrestled with the best way to sell the retail liquor license since mid-September.
At that time, Lou’s, LLC, co-owned by Luminous Brewhouse owner Cooley Butler and local business investor Robert Utter, applied for the license to be used in a proposed restaurant at 201 Broadway St.
The restaurant would have been owned and operated by an entity called the Yates Bros., which operates nearly 25 restaurants around the state.
Since the city is the selling agent in the transaction, Council members wanted more details on use and ownership of the license before making a decision. The city owns the license previously used by Oliver’s Bar and Grill, which closed in December 2012. The license was tied up in legal proceedings and not available for sale until spring 2014.
In mid-September 2014, the Council tabled the request from Lou’s. It then worked through a process of establishing criteria for sale of the license — and all new retail liquor licenses — through October and November.
An eight-week advertising period for the license, as required in the newly established criteria, began Dec. 5 and ends today. Other criteria for purchase of the license included a complete business plan, financial history and projections on cash flow, use of the license to promote economic development and more.
At a price of $1,500, the license is much cheaper than the average $140,000 market value of retail liquor licenses.
Applicants for the license have expressed frustration at the long delay. The Yates Bros. representatives said they were ready to open a restaurant that would have employed 30 full-time and 20 part-time workers by November 2014.
City councilors stressed that they wanted to make the best choice on which applicant received the license since its reduced price could be considered akin to winning the lottery. They said using the license wisely for economic development was paramount.
Applicants to date for the license include:
• Lou’s, LLC, doing business as Wyoming Cattle and Creek Co. at 201 Broadway St.
James Yates and William Yates, of the Yates Bros., are listed as 50 percent stockholders each in the limited liability company. This is a change from the past application from Lou’s, LLC, in the fall in which Butler and Utter were listed as 33 1/3 percent stockholders each and James and William Yates were listed as 16 2/3 percent stockholders each.
• Powder River Pizza, Inc., doing business as Powder River Pizza Co. at 803 N. Main St.
Stockholders include Brock Boedecker, Brett Boedecker, Christopher Crow, Regan Haswell, Thomas Pilch, Mathew Ebzery, William Ebzery, Katherine Ebzery and Powder River Pizza Co., Inc. Megan Crow is listed as an officer.
Powder River Pizza applied for the license last fall noting it would like to expand its business and offer some of its brews for retail sale. The previous application for Powder River Pizza stated it would surrender its bar and grill license if it received the retail license.
• Good 2 Go Stores, LLC, doing business as Good 2 Go Store #18 at 1229 Brundage Ave. Good 2 Go includes five stockholders based in Idaho and was an applicant last fall for the license. It proposed using it in a gas station, food counter and liquor store combination almost identical to the Good 2 Go store in Cody.
• El Tapatio Dos, LLC, doing business as El Tapatio Dos at 1125 N. Main St. Lance Fletcher and Alicia Fletcher are listed as 47 percent stockholders in the company each.
This is a new application for the license.
• David Harbour, with a premise address of 331 Broadway St. There is no listing for the trade name of the company. The location of the license is described as downstairs in the west end of the building, which is the location of Harbour Chiropractic.
This is a new application for the license.