Dispute over lease closes Baldwin bar
Salt Mine reopens with new license
The Salt Mine has reopened after being closed for nearly a week, despite an ongoing legal battle between the manager and building landlord.
The bar reopened Friday after being closed since Nov. 1. Manager Mike Magers said the Salt Mine, 301 Ames St., had to close because it no longer had a lease and the state Alcohol Beverage Control requires a lease or deed for a business to have a liquor license.
Magers, who has owned the business for five years, said he and landlord Gary Culley have a lease-to-purchase agreement on the building, but Culley doesn't want to sell and did not renew Magers' lease.
"We wanted to exercise our option to purchase it," Magers said. "But he doesn't want to sell the property."
Culley said he had no comment on the matter.
At the request of Magers, the Baldwin City Council granted the business a cereal malt beverage license last Monday, allowing the Salt Mine to serve 3.2 percent alcohol. The city does not require a deed or lease for the license.
The Salt Mine can stay open without a lease, Magers said, while litigation continues. He said he is currently waiting on a court date to determine the outcome of the lease-to-purchase agreement between him and Culley.
"Unfortunately, right now it's a waiting game," he said.
Until then, the Salt Mine will be open.
"It's our intention to stay open until we are forced to leave," he said.