Carbondale businessman awarded $13k in damages from former restaurant tenants in Craig | AspenTimes.com

Carbondale businessman awarded $13k in damages from former restaurant tenants in Craig

Lauren Blair
lblair@craigdailypress.com

The Elk Mountain Restaurant in Craig closed shortly before the restaurant owners, Catherine and Mathew Eye, were evicted on June 21 by the building owner, Mitch Epstein, of Carbondale. The eviction was based on several breaches of the lease, but the Eyes claim they were being harassed by Epstein.

Former Elk Mountain Restaurant owners Mathew and Catherine Eye were slapped with nearly $13,000 in damages after failing to appear for a damages hearing in Moffat County Court on Monday.

In an empty courtroom, property owner Mitchell Epstein, of Carbondale, presented an itemized list to Judge Sandra Gardner of damages $5,300 in inventory lost, $4,191 in legal fees, $1,900 unpaid rent for May and June and miscellaneous cleaning, plumbing, locksmith and utilities costs.

“In short, they occupied a building that had restaurant tables, antiques… and 90-percent of the things are gone: sold off at auction or they walked away with them when they left,” Epstein told the judge.

He stated that the Eyes moved a number of items out of the building and into Craig Storage, but then failed to make monthly payments on the unit, resulting in two lockers full of items being auctioned off.

Epstein evicted the Eyes in mid-June alleging they had broken their lease on several counts, including failing to maintain required insurance coverage, residing on the premises and by completing improvements to the building without landlord consent

The Eyes disputed the claims and said they were being harassed and slandered by Epstein.

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Elk Mountain Restaurant opened in early 2016, specializing in burgers and wild game, and became a favorite for many Craig locals, as evidenced by dozens of comments on their Facebook post June 24 announcing they had to close the restaurant.

Nonetheless, Epstein presented his claims for, and Gardner issued a judgment against the Eyes in the amount of $12,861 less a security deposit.

Epstein concluded by stating he believed the Eyes had left the state and inquire about how to collect the judgment. Gardner answered that he would have to determine their location to serve them on the judgment.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.