Kathy Nerney listens as Steamboat Springs City Council members respond to her questioning of a condition in the new liquor license for the Jade Summit and Pirate's Pub businesses she runs with her husband, Kevin Nerney. The provision forbids Kevin Nerney from being present at either establishment during business hours.

Photo by Brian Ray

Kathy Nerney listens as Steamboat Springs City Council members respond to her questioning of a condition in the new liquor license for the Jade Summit and Pirate's Pub businesses she runs with her husband, Kevin Nerney. The provision forbids Kevin Nerney from being present at either establishment during business hours.

Nerneys regain liquor license

Council approves privileges for former bar owner's wife

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Pirates Pub liquor license

Jade Summit restaurant Pirate's Pub owner Kathy Nerney reluctantly accepted her new liquor license, which included a stipulation that her husband, Kevin Nerney, not be allowed in the restaurant or bar during business hours.

Jade Summit restaurant Pirate's Pub owner Kathy Nerney reluctantly accepted her new liquor license, which included a stipulation that her husband, Kevin Nerney, not be allowed in the restaurant or bar during business hours.

— After more than three months in liquor-less limbo, the Jade Summit restaurant and its upstairs bar, Pirate's Pub, has its license to serve alcohol in time to capture a few more weeks of ski season business.

The Steamboat Springs City Council, acting as the city's Liquor License Authority, unanimously approved Kathy Nerney's application for a liquor license Tuesday. The license, however, comes with a major restriction: Kevin Nerney, Kathy's husband and the original business owner and license holder, is not permitted on the premises during business hours.

The condition led to a heated back-and-forth between Kathy Nerney and City Council President Loui Antonucci. Kevin Nerney and his attorney, Kris Hammond, watched silently from the audience.

Kathy Nerney said she was blindsided by the condition, which she did not learn about until reading an article in Tuesday's Steamboat Today. Antonucci said the condition was necessary to honor the determination of the previous City Council, which revoked Kevin Nerney's license for the business Nov. 8 in response to allegations that he made unlawful sexual contact with a patron at his bar in February 2007.

"I don't think it's this council's intent to antagonize you or your husband," Antonucci said. "I choose and this council chooses not to revisit that. We found him not to be of good moral character. That was the outcome of the case."

Kevin Nerney was cleared of the charges in criminal court in August, but the previous City Council, acting as the city's Liquor License Authority, held its own hearings and decided that Kevin Nerney violated state liquor codes.

With a copy of John Grisham's "The Innocent Man" in her hands, Kathy Nerney vilified City Council for actions she said amount to "malice, harassment and prejudice." She particularly criticized Antonucci, who was on a previously planned vacation and missed the Nov. 8 hearing at which Kevin Nerney's license was permanently revoked.

"That's the part that hurt me and my family the most," Kathy Nerney said. "You used to be a bar owner, Loui. More than anyone else here, you knew how much this meant to us."

At one point, Kathy Nerney said she would not accept the license because it would amount to an admission of Kevin Nerney's guilt and because she could not run the business by herself. She changed her mind after a consultation with Hammond.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

How can that be legal? When did City Council become personel director and HR for the Jade Summit? How can this man be denied a right to make a living? SVBOR your Socialist predictions seem to be coming truer by the minute here in SS.. I bet some lawyers are salivating and chomping at the bit to get a hold of this one.

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 10 months ago

Guilty until proved innocent....

Remember the "big box store" issue? No "big box stores", unless they are in my building...then it is ok.

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housepoor 6 years, 10 months ago

What a circus this thing has turned into.......

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Circus? I'd call it a Circus Maximus, feeding the Nerney's to the lions.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Best steaks? Are you aware that they serve Asian cuisine, hence the name "Jade Summit?" Have you ever been in the place? And not all people who drink are alcoholics. How many restaurants do you know that don't ever serve alcohol in Steamboat and are successful?

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rfj0401 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow this is a mess. Guilty until proven innocent and then still Guilty.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

So you haven't been there, it seems. The bar is upstairs to the right, away from the restaurant seating downstairs so that's a moot point.

As for the groping, he was exhonerated in a court of law by a jury. Why change the menu when it's a great menu? You really have no clue about this place, do you? A family can have a perfectly good meal there until the kitchen closes. That's usually when the bar atmosphere kicks in to high gear in most restaurant/bars combos.

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corduroy 6 years, 10 months ago

I think this is a lame cop out. Either they have a permit or not, you can't add stipulations to it. The owner of a business cannot be on his premises? How the hell do they expect him to actually run his business without being able to have a hand in it? This is completely pointless.

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skisteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

michyah,

you are in need of some serious help. Kevin Nerney was PROVEN INNOCENT. Do you understand that? That means he was NOT GUILTY. I do agree that families should have a great place to go and eat as well, and in this case, the Jade Summit provides that type of restaurant. The Pirates Pub is the "bar" and where most of the "drunks" you refer to would reside. By your logic, it would seem logical that every bar, restaurant, liquor store, grocery store, and convince store should all quit selling alcohol, because they "choose to make money off an illness." How logical is it to ask that alcohol serving establishments ban selling alcohol? This isn't the 1920's, prohibition is over.

Please, get a life, and uplift yourself from our community. Take your prude ideas to some other town where people thing as oddly as yourself. May I suggest Aspen or Timbuktu.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

There is something teribly wrong when an innocent/not guilty person is persecuted unjustly.

Kathy should refuse to serve the city council members for unruly behavior. They wouldn't like that very much.

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oldskoolstmbt 6 years, 10 months ago

kielbasa & courduroy...how right you both are!!! michyah..?????????

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

michyah

Let me preface, This is my opinion.

Not everyone who drinks is a drunk. For alcoholics booze is a life killer. As is heroin for the junky. You sound like you are an alcoholic or know someone who is. I highly suggest the affected person contact AA as soon as possible. Get some help.

That being said.

No one has the right to dictate what any individual chooses to do as long as they are not breaking the law or doing harm. Unfortunately Common Sence or Critical Thinking is no longer a course at most primary education institutions.

This is America. We tried prohibition. It failed. It did for alcohol what the the war on drugs has done for all the veried substances outlawed. It drives up price by limiting supply. Making the business an atractive option for the less law abiding elements in our society. Where did that get us? Have people stopped using drugs? No. Should drugs be outlawed? Yes!

As far as medical marajuana is concerned I say "let the cancer patient toke up!"

The rest of you stoners grow up!

I forget who said it first but heres a quote for you, "Drugs are an itellignce test, if your still doing them, you failed"

My question to you michyah is; would you have ACET go to the local drinking establishments arresting everyone who has a drink?

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

Let it be known that the information in the newspaper is only 1 sided. Not all the information that was given out last night was printed in the newspaper. Lots of questions came from Kathy, but very little answers, and a lot of back peddeling. The video shown on the internet was just a mear taste with only the flavoring of City Council. All the coverage was not posted. Kathy asked many times NOT to have her picture taken, and did NOT want the video!!! However if it must be public knowledge....ALL must be printed & ALL video should be shown. The paper looks more like "Rag Magazine" publishing what they want you to hear & NOT all what we truly want to hear. Get a clue Pilot!!!!!!

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dave reynolds 6 years, 10 months ago

kathy was right on saying that to Loui..wonder how him and Joe Pete would have felt if they were in hers shoes..this is stupid and so unfair

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outsiderlookingin 6 years, 10 months ago

Hey Michyah: Let me see. How much would the price of Sesame Chicken be if there were no liquor served & with 6,000 square footage of rent to be paid. Right now the Jade serves up a lunch special of $6.45 & $7.45. Just wait until the Ritz Carlton comes in. You won't even get bottled water at that price. Get a clue... restaurant profit margin is about 30%. Bar profits average 150-200%. Do the MATH!!!!Do you want to offset the cost or should we get City Council to pass a new ordinance for AFFORDABLE DINNING in Steamboat?

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

"Not Guilty" is far from "proven innocent". Not guilty means there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal act took place. This is not the same as proving that it did not happen. In this case, several people testified that the events took place as the victim described but there was enough "doubt" to prevent a conviction.

A liquor license has a different standard and a different process than a criminal prosecution. Conviction on the criminal sexual conduct charges are not neccessary to deny a license. An appplicant for a liquor license must undergo a hearing. If credible people testify at that hearing to the kind of alleged events involved in this case, the license would be denied regardless of whether there had ever been charges filed let alone a conviction. The same standard applies to the holder of a license.

In this case, a good compromise has been reached. At least they can run the place and if they desire to, sell it as a going concern.

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mfishon1 6 years, 10 months ago

If this was a bar related event that involved liquer then maybe I could see preventing Kevin from working the bar upstairs and serving liquer. However, to ban the guy from the entire joint seems too extreme. At least let the guy work in the kitchen or wash dishes....or at the mimimum eat in his own resturant.

Just curious what would happen if Kevin gets a job working at another local bar. Would the council then tell that bar owner to fire Kevin or else their liquer license will be revoked? Does a liquer authority have that kind of power to actually dictate who gets to enter a bar based on your accused behavoir in a bar?

Yikes...this is scarry because I have a couple of friends who are bartenders in this town that better straigthen up their act before someone accuses them of improper behavior in a bar.
I know one bartender here in town who spent a night in the local jail because of his involvement in a bar fight. I guess if we applied this same reasoning to him that was applied to Kevin then this guy should not be allowed to enter any bar.

This is a slippery slope the liquer authority is venturing down.

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betamikeiski 6 years, 10 months ago

This is a terrible, mean spirited decision by the city council. A bar owner not allowed on the premises? Seriously, how is that supposed to work? The Nerney's are a good family who moved to SBS (Kevin was, after all, a NYC firefighter.....how quickly we forget) to pursue the "American Dream" and have instead found elitism, vicious personal attacks and snobbery. Maybe Kevin, and I stress maybe -since he was found innocent- did make an error of judgment but who really hasn't? To deny him and his family their right to earn a living is simply wrong.

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housepoor 6 years, 10 months ago

not on either side, but how does being a NYC firefighter excuse you from anything??????

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betamikeiski 6 years, 10 months ago

That is not what I meant....to "excuse" him for anything. It's just while we are passing around judgments on a persons "moral character" I think we all need to look inside ourselves. Kevin is a really good guy and this is tearing his family apart. Besides, I think an innocent verdict in a court of law excused him. At least that is how I think it still works.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

Lets not forget that Kevin IS of MORAL CHARACTER in most eyes. (Just not that of City Council) The BIG question is this PERSONAL or NOT? Lets go back to the begining....when before the "REAL TRIAL" began. Julie Jordan & Joel Raye gave Kevin only ONE option. Take 9 days off (close both the Jade & Pirates Pub) & ADMIT GUILT. Where the hell do these 2 get off doing this. What exactly is their POSITION in this? Did they have the right to do this? Did this come from CITY COUNCIL? All of this was left out of the paper regarding Kathy's testimony last night (you dropped the ball again Pilot) Kathy asked time and again IS THIS PERSONAL? No one, not no one ever answered her. The conversation DID get heated with Kathy & Louie. (You all missed it) At one point Steve Ivancie said we all spent 2 days, listening to the QUAZI TRIAL, missing work etc.... Hey Steve that was YOUR CALL & City Councils decision to have this QUAZI TRIAL. The Nerney's didn't ask for it. Kevin was found NOT GUILTY. And by the way this is YOUR JOB. So Quit Yer Bitchen. I am very PROUD of Kathy. She handled herself quite well. Kevin should be proud. By the way they will be celebrating their 22nd Wedding Anniversary on this SAT. What a great feat. How many out there can say that they have stayed together that long. Too bad they won't be able to Celebrate it together. Kevin is not allowed at the Jade or the Pirates Pub.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh, one more comment about the 9 days. Even though Kevin felt he was NOT GUILTY....He took the 9 days.....Just refused to admit guilt. He closed the Jade & the Pirates Pub. That was quite an EYE-OPENER for some of the NEW COUNCIL members. Seems NO ONE ever told them that. Guess Kevin just pissed somebody off when he refused to ADMIT GUILT. What whould you all do in that situation?????

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sarakg 6 years, 10 months ago

Haven't posted in a while. I am well aware that there may be backlash against my last name (as there has been against the Nerney's)...but if I wanted the old City Council to be respected and their decisions to be followed, I would have voted for them. Since the majority of the voting public didn't, I can only assume that the majority of the public does not support "respecting the decisions" of the old board. (Historical preservation, anyone?) BTW, respect does not equal agreement. Also, it's sad you City Council members didn't have the option to go to the Pirate's Pub after Tuesday's meeting....I'm sure those bottles of wine would have been less costly.

Sara K. Gleason

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

letomayo- If Sara has a DUI, that means nothing in this case. DUI's have to do with bad judgement, not morals, which she never even mentioned. Whatever disagreements I had with her on the BOE debacle, I agree with her on this point. The old COUNCIL was voted out en masse. Some of that may or may not have been due to this current debacle. I guess we'll see come next time one of them is up for election again.

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letomayo 6 years, 10 months ago

kiel, you are right and she was right about the old council being unreelected I do think DUIs are about bad judgement maybe not morals it isn't good judgement to drive when you have been drinking.

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elk2 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow, I guess Loui reads this stuff. I didn't think my comment about the Pub was at all inappropriate. I have read many vile comments about the Nerney's that weren't removed. Just Sayin....

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outsiderlookingin 6 years, 10 months ago

Elk 2 Did you Know "Louie"s real name is Paul.. What's he trying to hide? No one ever said common sense was a prerequisite for being on the Council or making decisions regarding other people's lives and getting elected. He's been on the a board of somekind since the late 80-'s. He thinks he's king and it is time for him to go. But career politician's can't get real jobs because a real job requires results at the end of the day.

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seven 6 years, 10 months ago

Nothing good ever comes with alcohol, EVER. Tell the truth and it will lie to you. Stand up for it and it will knock you off your feet. Take it with you and it will follow you to your grave.

Life has so many other joys,don't miss them fighting for alcohol.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

So are we telling people of Steamboat that NOTHING like this has ever happened here? Nothing has EVER happened in the "Squeeky Clean" town. I hear lots of rumors (here & there) about what happens in Steamboat, stays in Steamboat. Stuff gets squashed, but that they are making a POINT WITH KEVIN. If anyone out there has got something to say, no need to publish it here. Speak out & be heard. Don't let this happen to Kevin. He's NOT THE BAD GUY. I'm sure Kathy is open to any conversations you might want to have with her!!!!! After all its NOT JUST THE MONEY LOST, its the REPUTATION & HER FAMILY NAME. She is truly hurting & so are her kids!!!!!

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sarakg 6 years, 10 months ago

7-How about using your time to fight for your right to work in the business you own? How about using that time to provide for your family? How about using that time to stand up for what is right in our community, and wrong in our town? Those are certainly "joys" worth spending time on. How about standing up for your own rights, instead of letting developers' money and rights control our town? If the same thing had supposedly happened at dry cleaner, clothing shop, or pet business, there would have never been the debate about revoking a business license. Is it just my imagination, or is our council focused on getting establishments out of Ski Time Square ASAP?

SideBar...all the comments removed, I did not get a chance to read your thoughtless and irrelevant opinions about me, my family, or that "demon" alcohol. I did recently plead no contest to a traffic offense that was seriously overestimated, and, in my opinion, very detrimental to both myself and my family-in order to get it over with. Should you all like to share your names, please feel free to do so. Maybe then we can check what you were up to when you were 24 years old, and then reapply it to inapplicable issues. Seriously though, when did a certain surname preclude you to being judged as believing in the same views that your parents do? Just a thought, living in the small town we do, it will only happen more often. And I apologize for making an issue of it, but the ridicule and embarassment my parents and siblings, and myself, for that matter, have faced over this issue on this website has been petty, meanspirited, shows a lack of class, and is completely irrelevant to this discussion. Thanks, Matt, for, as always, having a level head. I am not my father, nor is he me, despite whether you agree on certain actions taken in the past. If you are looking for someone to blame for my father's actions, look to the person who gave him cause, and a dedication to public service to take those actions. Do not take aim at his family, as many of you did when my name was published in the paper. He is not responsible for my actions, as I am not responsible for his (although, yay Dad!).

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sarakg 6 years, 10 months ago

PS..It is about time that we, the people who actually live here, not "the city", take responsibility for our town and what we still have invested in it. It is high time we demand that our elected "leaders" actually lead us down the path that we want to be on. It is time to shed the past, prior beliefs, historically implanted practices, and established "business as usual". It is time to demand the attitude that we want to remain in this town, and not be ashamed of it. I hope that what I have publically been wrung through is not indicative of this town and the locals left in it. I think that we, as a whole, have enough courage, conviction, and "moral character" to demand what we all believe is ours. Which is the freedom, right, and the unobstructed ability to provide a way of living, the right to manage your own business, and the indication that you are interested in more than cold, hard, cash-unlike many of the people currently petitioning the city council. Who were elected, I may add, not to "respect" former decisions, but to lead our town into a new place, baesed on new decisions. This issue goes far deeper than the Nerneys'...are we supposed to respect and follow a city council that would only make decisions with respect to the "old" council? That would explain the 700 club buying council members a good steak a few weeks back...sadly.

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quietman 6 years, 10 months ago

Sara, I applaud you. For one so young, you are a thinker and are not wearing rose colored glasses regarding current gov't. Remain active and out spoken. My best to you and your family, they have done a great job.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

Sara

I hear a strength and honesty in your words, not common.

Kudos

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jnerney 6 years, 10 months ago

No one is perfect. Judging by the comments on this blog, it seems Steamboat has more people that are not then most. Reading this, I imagine even NYC is a safer place then Steamboat. Some on this blog might think that is because Kevin and Kathy moved out.... ;-) Truth is, I have heard some of this story from Kevin, Kathy and family, but they did not say much as they thought is was frivolous. After hearing that he was proven innocent, not much more to say. Kevin is a blue collar guy that worked his ass off to take care of his family and wife. Those that truly know them, know neither would hurt or say a bad word about anyone. My brother may be a pain in the ass sometimes, (spoken like a true older brother), but he would go 50 miles out of his way to help someone who needed it. After risking his life for 20 years helping others in the greatest city in the world, he built his house out there with his own two hands. Kevin thought it would be heaven on earth. He loves the country, the environment and I guess now, most of the citizens. From what I see here, seems like it is people with nothing better to do and the money to do it, picking on someone who doesn't fit their mold. I wish I had the time to come out there and sit with my brother for a while. My personality is a little different. I do not smile as much as he does and can recognize a person who is no good faster then him. What we both do know is this: when you are within your rights, no one can mess with you, and **** them if they try.

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jnerney 6 years, 10 months ago

I posted this blog from another that I had posted earlier. The picture of my sister-in-law is breaking my heart. My brother says he will not leave Steamboat, I say, life is too short to be bothered by people with a miserable outlook on life. Move on and be happy that what goes around, comes around.

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oldskoolstmbt 6 years, 10 months ago

outsiderlookin...im sure elk2 knows everyone's real name, only been here for about 25+ years (and you?)....anyway...more bar owners should have come before the courts earlier...wrong place wrong time?..IDTS

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