Mexican restaurant replacing Boebert’s former Shooters Grill in Rifle, acquires liquor license |

Mexican restaurant replacing Boebert’s former Shooters Grill in Rifle, acquires liquor license

Ray K. Erku
Post Independent
A Tapatios sign saying 'coming soon' on a window of the former Shooters Grill in downtown Rifle on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

RIFLE — Cerveza, margaritas and enchiladas rancheras are coming to a downtown Rifle spot that formerly dished out burgers and fries by pistol-packing servers.

Tapatios of New Castle is currently in the process of opening a new location inside the vacant downtown Rifle storefront that used to house Shooters Grill. The former Shooters was owned by Silt Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

Rifle City Council on Feb. 15 unanimously approved a hotel and liquor license for Tapatios. Floor plans submitted with the liquor license application show the new restaurant creating a large indoor seating area, a patio section out front and full sitting bar.

“It’s a family restaurant,” Tapatio owner Esmeralda Cornejo told City Council members after the approval.

The former Shooters, which never served alcohol, opened in May 2013 and closed in July 2022 when building owner Milkin Enterprises, LLC — which also owns cannabis dispensary Rifle Remedies — opted not to renew Boebert’s lease.

Shooters Grill itself came into national prominence when Boebert encouraged her staff to openly holster firearms while serving customers. Boebert, winning her first Congressional term in 2020 and her second in 2022, is also known nationwide as an ultra-conservative and a staunch proponent of building a border wall with Mexico.

Now, Tapatios, opening its first location in New Castle in September 2020, prepares to serve Mexican-style meals in the heart of Rifle. Rifle City Clerk Misty Williams said, per liquor license requirements, regular meals will be served between 8 a.m.-8 p.m., with lighter snacks offered any time after 8 p.m.

The liquor license application is in concurrent review with the state. Many neighboring business owners indicated support for Tapatios obtaining the liquor license, city documents show.

“There’s no concerns or petitions,” Williams said.

Tapatios’ lease with Milkin Enterprises ends Aug. 31, 2027. The city does not yet know when exactly the new Mexican restaurant is slated to open.

Milkin Enterprises owner Dan Meskin, Tapatios or Boebert did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

The front of Shooters Grill on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

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