David Burke Kitchen, new nightclub to open in December | AspenTimes.com

David Burke Kitchen, new nightclub to open in December

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One of Aspen's most highly anticipated restaurant openings in recent memory is scheduled to come to fruition next month after a series of setbacks stalled the launch.

The owners of David Burke Kitchen, which entered into a lease agreement for 204 S. Galena St. in April 2013 but had financial disputes with developer Mark Hunt, settled the disagreement in August.

The settlement came after Hunt's legal team took steps to evict the restaurant before it even opened. The disagreement boiled down to outstanding bills for contractors that approached $1 million, as well as unpaid rent.

The restaurant was accused of not paying its monthly rent of $44,583 for the 5,535-square-foot dining space and $11,667 for the 4,012-square-foot lounge spot.

But that matter has been settled, and the dozens of liens placed on the building by contractors have gradually been paid off, most recently $147,965 to an interior designer of restaurant kitchens, $61,000 to a drywall company and $226,730 to an electrical company, among other debts, according to public records.

And on Monday, the restaurant's parent company, David Burke Group, along with LDV Hospitality, announced that Rec Room Aspen will open in December. Rec Room's opening will coincide with the launch of David Burke Kitchen. The bar will be located in the subground space. Press materials tout the Rec Room as a "equal parts high-energy dive bar and glamorous lounge, making for a truly unique nightlife experience."

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The David Burke Group and LDV have a Rec Room in Miami Beach, which opened in 2013. Another Rec Room serves as the VIP room for No. 8, a New York nightclub.

David Burke Kitchen is billed as a "market-to-table restaurant" that will be run by Executive Chef Matthew O'Neill, formerly of Ajax Tavern and The Little Nell.

The restaurant and nightclub will combine to employ as many as 100 workers, said spokeswoman Rebecca Cole of the public relations firm Wagstaff Worldwide.

The David Burke Group, named after the celebrity chef, has restaurants in Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and New Jersey, among other locations.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com