After the Laramie City Council rejected all 11 applicants in May, a work session to discuss the newest round of retail liquor license applications is scheduled for today.
A retail liquor license awarded to Fox Hole Enterprises in May 2012 failed to satisfy the city’s contingencies by the Nov. 2, 2014, deadline, leaving the door open for other applicants to acquire the coveted permit.
State statute allows the holder of a retail license to sell “alcoholic liquor and malt beverages for consumption on-premise, off-premise or both,” according to the Wyoming Liquor Division.
The Wyoming Liquor Division approved six applications sent to the city. The applications include descriptions of the business’s plans for the license, a bank statement indicating the applicants are in adequate financial standing, lease agreements and site plans.
A time-limited presentation is scheduled for each applicant during the session, where they will make their cases for why their businesses would best serve the needs and desires of the community in the foreseeable future.
The applicants are scheduled to appear before the council in the following order: Arsenio Lemus Holdings, LLC., Shocktoberfest Productions, LLC., Hero Primo, LLC., Chalk ’N Cheese, LLC., High Elevation Investments, LLC., and Big D Oil Company.
Arsenio Lemus Holdings seeks the license to open an on-premise only liquor sales establishment called Piano Bar at 110 Ivinson St. in the upstairs portion of the building. The applicant, Arsenio Lemus Jr., is a local businessperson and real estate developer who owns and operates Laramie Valley Contracting & Roofing, Inc. and Opportunity Knocks Enterprises, LLC.
The remodel of the historic building location is completed and could open immediately, according to the applicant’s cover letter. The business is described as a bar with a “talented artist” playing live piano music. A similar proposal was rejected by the council in May.
Shocktoberfest Productions, LLC, already has a restaurant license, which allows for liquor sales as long as the ratio of sales is at least 40 percent liquor to 60 percent food. The business has been open since October on a limited basis at 303 S. Third St. Applicant Jason Palumbo indicated he would combine on- and off-premise sales. In addition to using the license to operate the bar on-site, Palumbo says in the cover letter he plans to operate as a theater, recording studio and live music club, as well as host events in tents outside.
Hero Primo, LLC, currently operating as the Hero Depot, 412 S. Second St., seeks a combination of on- and off-premise sales for a re-branding of the business, to be known as The Lair. Owner Ryan Kiser currently operates his business as an arcade and game shop, but says in the cover letter the ability to offer alcoholic drinks would catalyze business growth. A similar proposal was narrowly rejected by council in May.
Chalk ’N Cheese, LLC, sells gourmet food and specialty cheeses, as well as a selection of antiques and crafts. Owners Lyndi Martin and Misty Hester say in the cover letter they plan to offer fine wines and spirits for on- and off-site consumption. The applicants indicated they have a preliminary order of alcohol ready to be placed immediately if the license is awarded.
High Elevations Investments, LLC, currently owns and operates The Library Sports Grille & Brewery, and has a restaurant liquor license. With an on- and off-site retail license, principals’ representative Bryan Gay plan to use it in combination with their current catering license and creating liquor store location at 300 S. Second St. in the former Music Box Store. In the cover letter, Gay says they plan to offer craft beers catering to “a higher class of beer drinkers.”
Big D Oil Company is the only applicant not seeking to operate a business in the downtown area. The South Dakota-based corporation with several locations throughout the state seeks to open a liquor store for their travel center at 1561 Snowy Range Road, near the Interstate 80 and Snowy Range Road interchange.
A public hearing of the Laramie City Council is scheduled for Nov. 30 where each councilor will evaluate and rate applicants, identifying an order in which motions for consideration on each applicant would be brought to the Dec. 1 regular meeting. Applicants with the most support will be listed in order from most to least votes.
The applicant receiving the most affirmative votes would be the subject of the first motion for consideration of awarding the license at the Dec. 1 meeting. An applicant must receive a majority vote — five “yes” votes — to be awarded the license.
Today’s work session of the Laramie City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. at City Hall, 406 Ivinson St.