Poppies owner pays money owed to state
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Poppies Bistro Cafe owner Michael Hull paid off a $7,500 debt he owed to the Colorado Department of Revenue on Monday afternoon, avoiding an auction planned for today that would have sold everything inside the restaurant.
Hull paid the state money he owed in delinquent sales and wage withholding taxes from January of this year to May. Lily Overholt, a tax compliance agent with the Department of Revenue in Grand Junction, said Hull paid the full $7,536.08 he owed.
The business was seized by the state on July 31. Sandra Lowman, a public information officer with the Department of Revenue in Denver, said Hull had not been giving the state the sales tax he collected and was not paying the withholding taxes on his employees’ W-2s.
The state had been poised to auction off everything inside the restaurant at 834 W. Hallam St. According to the auctioneer’s Web site, that inventory included patio furniture, bottles of wine and assorted liquor from the bar, and pots, pans and commercial appliances from the kitchen.
Overholt said she will release the building back to Hull this morning since her office is in Grand Junction and she couldn’t make the trip up on Monday afternoon.
Hull could not be reached for comment.
The land Poppies is on has been for sale for about eight months, according to listing agent Ruth Krueger with The Fleisher Co. Krueger said she has had several offers on the land that have fallen through.
The restaurant has not been open this summer for business, closing shortly after the ski season ended.
Since the real estate is for sale and not the business, a new owner would have say over the use of the building, as long as it fits within the lot’s current zoning parameters. The owner could create a lease with Hull, and Poppies could continue to run out of that location, Krueger said, although she would not comment on Hull’s intent in selling the business.
The restaurant, a popular, high-end bistro, has been in business since 1981.
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