Liquor license goes to 'Local'
Restaurant that will take Cadillac Grille’s spot on square gets Town Council’s nod.
By Tram Whitehurst, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
April 18, 2012
The mantra for Jackson town councilors deciding who would receive their final bar and grill liquor license was “location, location, location.’”
Although other factors also played a role in their decision, councilors ultimately agreed that having another viable restaurant and bar on Town Square would be of greatest benefit to the community.
On Monday, therefore, the council unanimously awarded the town’s last bar and grill liquor license to “Local,” a new restaurant under development by the owners of Trio. It will be located in the former home of the Cadillac Grille and Billy’s Giant Hamburgers.
“I can’t really fathom us not having a fully viable restaurant and bar facility on the Town Square,” Councilor Greg Miles said at the meeting. “That kind of tied the knot for me.”
Competition for the coveted license was stiff, with five existing or proposed restaurants in the running. The other applicants were Thai Me Up, Bubba’s Bar-B-Que Restaurant, Snake River Brewery and Restaurant and the proposed Wildflower Grill & Lounge.
The bar and grill license, though not as flexible as a full retail license, does allow establishments to have a bar and lounge area where alcohol can be served. Restaurants can obtain restaurant liquor licenses relatively easily, but they prohibit bars and require serving drinks from a separate room.
Local owners Will Bradof and Paul Wireman said the license means they will be able to fully realize their vision for a contemporary American restaurant serving local food and alcohol.
“We’re obviously excited that we’ll be able to have alcohol and a bar,” Wireman said in an interview. “It will be a huge asset for us and the town.”
The owners have been renovating the 55 N. Cache St. location since they took over the lease April 1. Wireman said they are on track for a mid-June opening.
The general layout of the restaurant will not change, Wireman said, but there will be a number of modifications to give it a “warm, Western feel.”
The liquor license will be put to use in several ways, including “an impressive display of taps” featuring 12 to 18 local and other beers and a big wall of wine and liquor behind the bar, Wireman said.
Wireman said the owners realize they’ll be taking over a prime location that until recently housed what had been a community institution of sorts.
“The Cadillac will be missed, but I hope our new place will take over where they left off and move Jackson into the next realm,” he said.
In their relatively brief discussion Monday, councilors did not mention any other applicants for the license.
Several councilors agreed with the criteria presented by Councilor Mark Obringer, who said he was looking at applicants’ history, success of business and potential benefit to the town.
“When I look at it, I just basically say to myself, ‘Who do I feel like needs this license most, and who will benefit the community,’” Obringer said.
Councilors also once again complained about what they see as unnecessarily restrictive state liquor laws. With Monday’s decision, the town now has no bar and grill licenses to award until its population exceeds 15,000. Jackson’s population at the time of the 2010 census was 9,577.
“It’s a difficult decision, because we’re looking at a handful of business owners who feel this is the key element that will allow them to be successful,” Mayor Mark Barron said.
Two restaurants in town — Rendezvous Bistro and The Merry Piglets Mexican Grill — already hold bar and grill licenses.