(Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council is considering modifying the number of catering permits and malt beverage permits which a business or organization is able to pull each year.

This idea came out of a conversation with business owners in the community regarding a request from Yellowstone Garage owner John Huff.

Conditions on Yellowstone Garage’s retail liquor license stipulate that the license can not be transferred to another location.

Huff had previously asked that the council relax this stipulation so that the license could be transferred for use at The Hall on Ash, which provides event space for things such as weddings.

However, City Manager Carter said during a Tuesday, Jan. 28 work session that Huff was willing to remove this request if the city council would instead consider increasing the number of catering and malt beverage permits.

“We have 39 events scheduled so far for 2020 and more in the works,” Huff told the council on Tuesday.

The council indicated that they would support increasing the annual permit quotas to accommodate Huff’s and other businesses which would benefit from being able to pull more permits each year.

“Yeah, I like this,” Councilman Ray Pacheco said after hearing the proposal. “I was hoping for some kind of compromise.”

Casper Municipal Code explains the current limits as follows:

No person or organization shall receive more than a total of twelve malt beverage and thirty-six catering permits for sales at the same premises in any one year. In no event shall more than twenty-four malt beverage permits be issued for any given premises in any one year.

Catering permits are only available to businesses which hold a retail liquor license. The permits allow them to serve alcohol at a different location from their establishment.

Holding a retail liquor license is not required for the malt beverage permits. Places such as David Street Station depend on these permits to serve beer at some summer concerts.

Councilman Mike Huber suggested increasing the number of permits businesses can pull to the maximum allowed under state law.

Napier said that city staff would look into state and current Casper law and bring a specific proposal to the council.

Casper Mayor Steve Freel added that the state’s liquor commission had reached out to him on Tuesday, indicating that there were other things Casper could do within state law, though he said he hadn’t yet found the time to look into those suggestions in detail.

Huff’s original proposal would have involved transferring the retail liquor license from Yellowstone Garage to The Hall on Ash and then apply for a bar and grill license for use at the Yellowstone Garage.

Since he appears to be removing this request, Casper will still have one remaining uncommitted bar and grill license.

The Casper City Council granted new bar and grill licenses to two Qdoba restaurants in December.

They’ve also set aside two further such licenses for future use by restaurant owner John Johnson.

The city has a total of 14 bar and grill licenses, which is based on population.

Such licenses cost $10,500 for the first year and $3,000 for annual renewals. They allow businesses to sell alcohol on premises only, with the exception of wine bottles purchased along with a full meal.

Restaurants with bar and grill licenses require that food sales account for 60% of their revenue.

If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:

Mayor Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Vice Mayor Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601

If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.