Dueling motions over Aspen Kitchen sale | AspenTimes.com

Dueling motions over Aspen Kitchen sale

Aspen Kitchen and the Rec Room lounge are closed, their employees terminated, their space empty.

While that much isn’t in dispute, there’s plenty of haggling going on over the future of the 204 S. Galena St. space that housed the two spots for less than a year. Both the restaurant and lounge, owned by the same company, opened in December before a Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee shut them down last month.

Motions filed last week in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver, where parent company Rocky Aspen declared Chapter 11 protection in March, reflect differing arguments on how to proceed with the remaining assets and lease, which had fetched $84,000 a month.

On Tuesday, landlord 204 South Galena Street LLC, controlled by developer Mark Hunt, filed an objection to Chapter 11 Trustee Michael L. Staheli’s motion to sell the assets and assign the lease to a bidder before it goes to auction. Staheli has picked Aristone Hospitality, headed by Patrick McGrath, as the so-called stalking-horse bidder, pending approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver. A stalking-horse offer, made before an auction, is meant to prevent lowball bids from prevailing and hurting the debtor.

Hunt’s LLC partially objects to the move because it has lien priority on all of the furniture, fixtures and equipment that the two businesses left behind, its motion says. Those assets cannot be sold free and clear of the lien, the motion contends.

Rocky Aspen also is on the hook for $1 million to the LLC, and that amount must be cured before the trustee sells the assets and lease, the motion says.

On Wednesday, Aristone Hospitality filed a motion in support of the trustee’s plan, noting that a stalking-horse bidder will “maximize the value received by the estate.”

Staheli, in a motion filed Thursday, also noted that both Aristone Hospitality as well as another interested bidder, Watershed Ventures, which had been affiliated with Rocky Aspen, are “proposing a cure of the leases to landlord as part of the purchase of the restaurant assets.”

The matter is pending before a bankruptcy judge.


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