Club No Name now Club No Booze | AspenTimes.com

Club No Name now Club No Booze

Janet Urquhart

Aspen’s embattled Club No Name is now Club No Booze, and it may be a club with a new name – not to mention a new operator – very shortly.The city’s Liquor Licensing Authority slapped the nightclub with a 15-day liquor license suspension Tuesday for a liquor code infraction involving female strippers at a private party last October. The suspension was effective starting yesterday and continues through March 15.The late-night lounge could continue to operate throughout the suspension, but it won’t be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages. The club’s operator, Jeremy Guterman, asked about the possibility of locking up the liquor and keeping the doors open, said one liquor board member.Guterman, who opened the club a little more than a year ago, declined to comment Tuesday after the liquor board hearing concluded, referring all questions to his attorney, Katharine Sullivan. She did not return phone calls yesterday.Guterman will plead guilty to the liquor code violation through an agreement worked out between Sullivan and David Hoefer, assistant city attorney. Hoefer said he expects the deal to be accepted today by Brooke Peterson, Aspen’s municipal court judge.”For all practical purposes, he admitted they were in violation,” Hoefer said.The plea agreement grants a deferred judgment – if Guterman doesn’t commit any further violations for one year, the case goes away.”If he doesn’t get into any trouble for the next year, the guilty plea is withdrawn and the case is dismissed,” Hoefer said.Guterman does have to pay a $175 fee for court and related costs as part of the deal.It appears Guterman won’t have much further opportunity to run afoul of the liquor code, at least at Club No Name.A letter to the liquor board from a law firm representing the club’s landlord, 217 S. Galena LLC, indicates the existing lease with Milken Entertainment Inc. – which holds the liquor license – will expire on April 15 and will not be extended.If a new bar manager to replace Guterman can be found before April 15, the lease will be terminated before that date, according to the letter.”It is the intention of 217 to hire a responsible bar manager for the club and to apply … to transfer the liquor license from Milken Entertainment Inc. to 217,” the letter states.Guterman, the face of the lounge and dance club, opened the establishment in the basement space once occupied by the Roaring Fork Tavern at 215 S. Galena St. on New Year’s Eve 2003. He never gave the club an official name, theorizing that those in the know would find it, and the front door offers little hint of what exists at the bottom of the stairs. Locals dubbed the nightspot Club No Name.Guterman was immediately in trouble with local authorities for allowing the opening night crowd to exceed the capacity established by the fire marshal. He paid a $150 fine and the liquor board imposed a seven-day suspension, but then suspended the suspension.Last October, he was cited for a liquor code violation after strippers hired for a private birthday bash were found mingling with patrons – a no-no under the code since the women were naked from the waist up.Police officers also observed patrons under age 21 at the party, including the individual for whom the party was being thrown, though Guterman was not cited for serving underage partiers.Liquor board member Larry Winnerman said he advocated a 45-day suspension for the violation involving the strippers. That would keep the club liquor-free until its lease expires next month.Board member Steve Goldenberg pushed for a 30-day suspension, while members Gary Esary and Bill Murphy favored a shorter punishment period, Goldenberg said. The 15-day suspension was a compromise among members, who voted unanimously to impose it.”They [board members] all felt this was a serious issue that had to be dealt with,” Goldenberg said. “It was kind of a lack of respect for the rules and the law.”What they really should do is open with another manager,” Goldenberg added. “He [Guterman] should be gone. He shouldn’t be in that business.”Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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