Clothes cops crack down on risqué soiree at no-name club
A couple of topless dancers in a local club last week may end up stripping the club’s owner of his liquor license.Jeremy Guterman is owner and manager of the club with no name in the below-street-level location of the former Roaring Fork Tavern. Authorities allege he was trying to hold a private party Thursday that included two strippers when police arrived and put a stop to things.Aspen police Detective Jim Crowley, who operates as a liaison between the police department and the liquor licensing board, said that according to the Colorado liquor code, it is unlawful to have any nudity in an establishment where liquor is being served. Many cities in Colorado have home-rule charters and can amend that part of the liquor code for themselves, if someone would like to open a cabaret with strippers, for instance.Aspen is a home-rule city but that law has never been changed – Crowley said the short-lived Aspen strip club called 81611 actually never served alcoholic drinks.Guterman agreed to shut down the party, but was also given a summons to appear in municipal court for violating the state’s liquor code regarding the attire and conduct of employees and patrons.Once the case is resolved through municipal court the matter will appear before the Aspen Liquor Licensing Authority.According to a police report, officers on foot patrol last Thursday at 10:30 p.m. encountered Guterman at the Caribou Club. Guterman told two police officers that he would be having a private party at his club known as “Club No Name” or “Club Anonymous” as a birthday party for a friend later that evening.He reportedly said that strippers would be at the party from 11:45 until just after midnight, and that he would be letting the public back in after the strippers left. The officers, who didn’t initially realize that having strippers perform in a club is against state law, happened to follow a suspicious man into Guterman’s club around 2 a.m. that night.According to the police report, the officers saw two unidentified females walking through the club and dancing on the dance floor with fully exposed breasts and wearing only lingerie below the waist. One of the officers also reportedly saw several individuals in the club that he knew were under 21 years old.Police questioned Guterman about the party. The club owner allegedly told them that it was the doorman’s fault that anyone who wasn’t invited was let into the club and that the people under 21 years old who were in the club weren’t being served alcohol.When police reiterated that the conduct in the club was unacceptable, Guterman agreed to shut the party down.”The liquor code applies to licensed premises whether or not there is a private party going on, so it doesn’t matter who is coming in and out,” Crowley said on Tuesday. “You can’t have people walking around a club naked.”Guterman was also cited in January when fire officials discovered that he had too many people in his club during a New Year’s Eve celebration. The club was shut down, and Guterman was charged with violating the city’s fire code. He plead guilty and paid a $150 fine, and was given a deferred judgment in municipal court, which means that the municipal court judge can recall that case and revisit his sentence now that he has had another incident at his club within a year.In addition, the Aspen Liquor Licensing Authority decided in March that as a result of the New Year’s Eve overcrowding incident they would suspend Guterman’s license for seven days if he is cited for any further life-safety violations before Jan. 2, 2005. Of course, the presence of strippers will probably not be looked at as life-threatening.According to Crowley, Guterman was also charged in 2003 with disorderly conduct for having noisy outdoor speakers at Mecca, a club he briefly operated at the corner of Galena Street and Cooper Avenue.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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