In recent years one entrepreneur after another has attempted to operate a restaurant in Cody’s airport terminal only to close down within the first year.

Jorge Cardenas is the latest restaurateur to commit to serving food and drink to travelers in the secured passenger area and also to the general public at Yellowstone Regional Airport. One difference is Cardenas has added alcoholic drinks to the menu.

On Tuesday the Cody City Council approved a restaurant liquor license for Monte Christo Bar & Grill on Roger Sedam Drive. A public hearing before the council vote failed to draw comment.

“Periodically they’ve seen restaurants operate (at YRA),” Cindy Baker, city clerk, said. “Not all of them apply for a liquor license.”

While the state limits some licenses a municipality may issue based on population, it does not limit restaurant licenses.

All city liquor licenses are renewed Aug. 1. The Monte Christo license is valid through July 31.

Baker said Cardenas will pay a $917 prorated fee based on the later date off the $1,000 annual rate.

According to the terms of the two-year contract between Monte Christo and the YRA Joint Powers Board, the restaurant lease expires Aug. 31, 2022. The airport board has waived rent for August-November, and Cardenas agreed to pay the airport $300 per month each month starting with December. The rent increases to $500 per month May 2022 until the contract ends Aug. 31, 2022.

YRA will pay utility costs while Cardenas is responsible for telephone and internet service fees.

Cardenas outlined his business plans in documents submitted with the state liquor license application.

Monte Christo will offer delivery and curbside pick-up. The menu lists imported and domestic beers and mixed alcoholic drinks along with traditional and ethnic foods.

“Monte Christo Bar & Grill is not a cookie cutter box establishment,” the narrative reads.

The license application says the restaurant is a year-round, full-time operation open Monday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

In his business narrative under future goals, Cardenas talks about adding televised entertainment and a surround-sound system.

“The ultimate goal is to put Monte Christo Bar & Grill on the map with up-and-coming comedians,” the narrative reads. “Display on my cinema marquee: Now featuring the best of local and far away comics.”

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