Motion withdrawn in Bootsy case

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

A contempt-of-court complaint filed because of noise coming from a downtown nightclub on Restaurant Row was withdrawn Monday.

However, that doesn’t mean the Bootsy Bellows nightclub, located in the basement of the building at 308 E. Hopkins Ave., will be open in the near future. The club currently has no lease to operate in the building and will remain closed indefinitely while the owners attempt to negotiate a new lease, said Luke Van Arsdale, Bootsy’s attorney.

“Fortunately, it’s the offseason, and we can try and put something together,” Van Arsdale said. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The contempt-of-court complaint was filed this summer by Michael Sedoy and Natalia Shvatchko, who own a free-market condominium in the building. They claimed that the homeowners’ association and the owner of the building were violating a District Court judge’s order by allowing Bootsy Bellows to continue operating as a nightclub.

District Judge Gail Nichols’ order grew out of a lawsuit filed by the city of Aspen in 2013 against Sedoy and Shvatchko and the owners of the building over access issues to three affordable-housing units. The city won that lawsuit.

However, part of Nichols’ decision concerned Bootsy Bellows, which the judge said was operating as a nightclub when it was only supposed to be a restaurant. Sedoy and Shvatchko had the right to approve any change in use of the space and did not.

Andrew Sandler, Bootsy Bellows’ owner, has said his business uses the space the same way as the previous tenant, Syzygy.

Last week, Nichols advised the parties in the contempt case that only limited relief was available in the proceeding and questioned whether the case needed to be heard at all. On Monday, the attorney for Sedoy and Shvatchko agreed and said his clients would withdraw the motion for contempt.

Bootsy Bellows hasn’t had a lease since its original expired in April and hasn’t paid rent since then, according to court documents. The lease was officially terminated by building owner JW Ventures on Sept. 11, the documents state. The business operated until Sunday.

“The future is totally uncertain,” Van Arsdale said. “No one knows what the situation will be for the winter.”

The 308 Hopkins building also is in the process of being foreclosed on, according to another lawsuit.