Ohio company sues Zele Cafe | AspenTimes.com

Ohio company sues Zele Cafe

Chad Abraham

An Ohio real estate company is suing Zele Cafe for up to $100,000 after Zele’s music store on Cooper Avenue closed and allegedly stopped paying rent.The lawsuit by XaMass Aspen Real Estate was filed Tuesday in district civil court. It alleges that Zele broke its lease at 414 E. Cooper Ave., where the Zele Music Cafe operated for about two years. XaMass purchased the space from Immobilien LLC in September 2004 and “assumed the role of landlord,” court papers say.”The lease agreement was accepted and signed by the defendant’s chief financial officer, Eric Altman,” the lawsuit says.XaMass alleges Zele agreed to lease the space from June 1, 2003, to April 30, 2005, for $12,545 a month. That lease was struck between Zele and the previous landlord, businessman Stefan Kaelin and his firm Immobilien.”In return for the favorable lease terms, the defendant agreed to develop a music store/café/wine bar concept,” according to the court papers.Zele Music Cafe sold CDs along with coffee, espresso, pastries and the like. But last month, Zele allegedly “failed and refused” to continue to pay rent.”The defendant has stated its intention to terminate its tenancy,” the lawsuit says.XaMass Aspen Real Estate is represented by lawyers Shane Harvey and Greg Goldberg. Harvey said yesterday that the music cafe simply “vacated the premises at the end of November.””We were given no reason. They just picked up and left,” he said.Efforts to reach Zele’s spokesman were unsuccessful.”They basically said that they’re not bound by the lease agreement,” Harvey said. “I went back and forth with their attorney trying to explain the legal position of why they were bound. They felt they weren’t and that’s why it led to this.”Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com

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