Bring on the noise? Bootsy Bellows eyes June opening
The Aspen Times
The owner of Bootsy Bellows won approval for a liquor license at its new downtown location Tuesday, saying he hopes to open the ground-level nightclub in early June. He’s also hoping the neighbors don’t complain about the noise.
The Local Licensing Authority, by a 4-0 vote, blessed Bootsy Bellows’ application to change the location of its tavern license, which will allow it to serve liquor at its new digs in the old Crystal Palace spot on the 300 block of East Hyman Avenue.
“We’re looking to bring vibrancy back to that street,” Bootsy Bellows owner Andrew Sandler told the board.
“Until the Limelight and Prospector say ‘stop it,’” jested board member Bill Murphy.
The Limelight and the Prospector lodges are in the immediate vicinity of the future home of Bootsy Bellows, and Murphy was referring to the nightclub’s recently settled bout with its upstairs neighbors, married couple Michael Sedoy and Natalia Shvachko, who own a penthouse at 308 E. Hopkins Ave.
The couple had made repeated complaints to the Aspen Police Department about the noise from Bootsy Bellows, prompting them on Sept. 30 to sue the nightclub, Sandler and a host of other defendants — on unrelated civil allegations — in U.S. District Court in Denver. They also took Bootsy Bellows to Pitkin County District Court on similar allegations: that it made too much noise and violated the building’s covenants by not serving food.
Both of those suits have been settled, while Sedoy and Shvachko, whose primary residence is in New York City, earlier this year lined up investors through a drawn-out foreclosure proceeding to buy the building in question, giving them final say on future tenants there.
“We’ve had a few anonymous reports of after-hours service, but they haven’t had a lot of credence given the litigation,” said Aspen Police Detective Jeff Fain in response to a board member’s question about Bootsy Bellows’ track record in Aspen.
Sandler said he will be mindful of the nearby neighbors and concerns that could arise from the nightclub’s noise. First, a remodeling job is in the works for the spot, which has housed pop-up retailers for the past two years.
“We’re going to open a street-level club for the first time in 20 years in Aspen,” Sandler said.
Sandler and Bootsy Bellows manager Andy Pappani also said they are considering potential outdoor dining, as well. If those plans materialize, they will require review from the city’s Commercial Core and Lodging Commission.
The space won’t be permanent for Bootsy Bellows. That’s because Mark Hunt, who owns the Crystal Palace building, has plans to convert the building into a boutique hotel. The Historic Preservation Committee has approved Hunt’s application for conceptual design and growth management for the new high-end hotel. The Aspen City Council will have the option of calling up the application for further review at its upcoming Monday meeting, according to City Clerk Linda Manning.
Tenants at the city’s oldest deed-restricted housing complex, Centennial Apartments, faced rent hikes as high as 30% in January that sent city, county, and APCHA officials into closed-door meetings with the relatively new landlord, Birge & Held.