City of Creede issues Kip’s Grill liquor license

CREEDE — After over a year, the City of Creede in compliance with court orders, has issued the 2020-2021 retroactive liquor license to Kip’s Grill. The motion was made by City of Creede Trustee Teresa Wall and passed with Trustee James Kerr voting “no.” Kip Nagy, owner of the establishment in Creede has been open about the ongoing lawsuits he has with the City. The City has declined to comment.

In the meeting on March 2, Corey Hoffman, the attorney handling the lawsuits against Kip’s Grill recommended that the Board of Trustees approve the license and explained the reasoning behind the recommendation.

“As I understand it, there are still ongoing discussion between Kip’s and Creede regarding a settlement or at least having discussions following the mediation. In addition, we have a Mineral County District Court Judge which clearly seems to have a predisposition against Creede as it relates to this matter. Having said that, you also have a letter in your packet to a state licensing authority. Any liquor license in the State of Colorado requires both a state and local liquor license,” said Hoffman.

In the letter provided it states, “The purpose of this correspondence is to follow up on my email correspondence with you regarding the above referenced matter. As I indicated to you on January 11, 2021, the Mineral County District Court by Order dated December 1, 2020 (the "Order") reversed the decision of the City regarding the City's determination that good cause existed for non-renewal of Kip's 2019 Hotel and Restaurant Liquor License (the "License"). This decision related solely to the renewal process of the License from 2019. The City has elected not to appeal the decision of the District Court. Thus, on February 2, 2021, the City approved the 2019-2020 renewal of Kip's License, consistent with the direction from the Order.”

Nagy's plight in the summer of 2019 when he applied for a renewal of his liquor license for the upper portion of Kip’s Grill located on Main Street in Creede. In the fall of 2019, Nagy was denied the renewal of the license due to concern of the upper bar’s safety and the fact that there was only one fire exit from the upper level.

In a meeting in September of 2020, Nagy asked for leniency from the board only to be told that he would have to come into compliance with the city’s building codes before the license would be granted. This was the beginning of a long legal process that partially came to a close in December of 2020.

In a statement issued to the Mineral County Miner, Nagy said that the city has refused or denied all of the building permits submitted by Nagy.

“It had been 61 days since the court ordered reversal of the trustee’s July 3, 2019 decision to table the renewal and their 2020 denial of the renewal,” the statement read. “The City continues to sue Kip’s Grill and is taking Kip’s to court August 22, 2021 to shut Kip’s down for being a nuisance. We have now counter sued. The City has denied every building permit Kip's has submitted to remedy their unsubstantiated claims, just to move past this nightmare. The City maintains that Kip’s Grill is unsafe and has life threatening code issues, yet they have no qualified building inspector or code enforcement officer to confirm or deny these allegations.”

Nagy has continuously expressed concern about the amount of money the city is spending to handle these lawsuits and has been open with his plight, even establishing a blog of sorts on his business website.

At the end of the meeting, Hoffman stated, “I recommend you approve the 2021 license; it does not give him both approvals he needs, he still needs to get approval from the state and at this point it is up to the state to handle their review of the liquor license.”

Hoffman confirmed for the board that there is no timeframe as to when the state will issue an approval or denial of the license.

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