Changing of the Guard at Silvertip Grill
By Sue Todd
There have been rumors, but now it’s a done deal. Silvertip Grill is changing hands. Soon Judson Crosby will be handing the keys over to the new owners, so it is the end of an era.
Back in 2006, Jud stopped in for an omelet at what was then JJ’s. He had heard the owners, Jay and He Yuk, were looking to sell. Though he had an inheritance from his great aunt earmarked for expansion of his home, he threw out an offer to the Yuks. They laughed and said, “No, that’s too much.”
The house expansion never materialized. Instead, the Yuks and Jud struck a deal, shook hands and the rest is history. Jud became the owner of what was renamed Silvertip Grill.
He did a complete remodel when he took over. For the bar top, Jud located a spruce log in Don Conrad’s yard, and he took it to Jake Thompson at the Carriage House. He asked Jake to make a 6” thick slab out of it, but Jake refused. He claimed 6” would weigh entirely too much. He suggested 3”. Jud and he compromised at 4”. Jud and Jamie Meeks sanded it every day for a week, ten hours a day. When finally the bar top was completed, they clear-coated it. The massive chunk of wood is still in place and will without a doubt withstand any earthquake.
While the remodeling dragged on, the community of Girdwood anxiously awaited the opening of the new Silvertip Grill. About a month after he took it over, Jud and Jamie Meeks put together a handwritten menu, photocopied it, opened the doors, and the people came in.
Jud remembers that as they ran out of ingredients, they would collect the menus and scratch off options. Darby Andrews inspired some items on the original menu. Other items were Jud’s or Jamie’s ideas. In fact, Jamie’s gravy recipe is still served today. The unique specials featured each week are a collaborative effort with staff.
Silvertip Grill has come a long way since the beginning. A second interior remodel took place in 2011. A fire pit, seating, and a stage were added to the back yard, and improvements have continued outdoors throughout the years.
Jud said one of the joys of owning the Silvertip has been his loyal employees; many of them stayed with him for years. He has thoroughly enjoyed the connection with the community, seeing locals and hearing what is going on in their lives.
The Tip has been a live music venue, and it is Jud’s sincere hope that it will continue to be. He shared some of his fondest memories. The Photonz concert of 2010, which sold 330 tickets and packed the backyard. It is one of my own favorite memories at the Tip. My husband and I were in attendance, but when the last song started, we slipped out to see the end of the Milo Matthews performance on the other side of the square. When Milo wrapped up 30 minutes later, we walked back home past the Tip, and the Photonz were still playing the last song.
Jud spoke fondly of his memory of another Forest Fair weekend when Norman Greenbaum and his wife got on the backyard stage and sang Spirit in the Sky, his all-time favorite song.
Through the years, Silvertip Grill has appeared in several TV shows. Wild West Guns filmed a scene at the bar. A German rap star filmed a rap video where he walked down the street from The Grind and ended up singing to Sean at the bar. Sister Wives was also filmed at The Tip while the cast was staying at Alyeska.
Jud asked me to share this information.
“We are both excited for our new opportunities and sad to be leaving our beloved community. We are selling the Silvertip Grill. The new owners are Raleigh and Jenny Hill. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the past 12 1/2 years. It has been my pleasure to serve and provide entertainment for this wonderful community. We will be operating from 9 a.m. to midnight, Fri. through Mon. for the next two months, and closing in mid-April. The new owners will take over and re-open in May. Laura and I will be packing up our fur babies (Rosy, Lucky and Tash) in our travel trailer and driving down the West Coast distributing my invention, the Snuff Sleeve. We do not know where we are going to end up, so this is going to be quite an adventure.”
We wish only the best to Jud and Laura as they embark on their next adventure. This is not goodbye, just so long. Happy trails.