Poppies popped with ticket for serving | AspenTimes.com

Poppies popped with ticket for serving

Aspen Times Staff Report

The owner of a popular Aspen restaurant is being hauled into municipal court on charges that he served liquor without a license.

Michael Hull, operator of Poppies Bistro and Cafe on Hallam Street, was handed a ticket on the evening of Oct. 5, after he reportedly had been serving liquor in his restaurant for more than three and a half months without a valid license.

City officials could suspend or revoke his license, or possibly assess a fine against the business. Poppies, a popular high-end restaurant, has been in business since 1981.

City liquor licensing authorities said Hull had not paid his annual liquor license renewal fee, which expired on June 16, 2000, despite letters from the city clerk’s office.

City Clerk Kathryn Koch said Hull paid the license renewal fee required annually by the state of Colorado – $475 – on June 15 as required.

But, Koch said, Hull did not pay the city renewal fee, which is $1,768.

Koch said her office sent two letters to Hull, one on Aug. 25 and another on Sept. 15, reminding him that the fee had not been paid.

Finally, the clerk’s office last week instructed the Aspen Police Department to go to the restaurant and, if liquor was being served, to issue him a ticket. He reportedly went to City Hall earlier this week and paid the fee, thereby reinstating his liquor license.

But as a result of the lapse, Hull is to appear in court today on the charge of serving without a license, although municipal court officials were not sure what action might be taken today.

He also has been summoned to appear before the Aspen Liquor Licensing Authority on Nov. 14. At that hearing, Hull will be asked to “show cause” as to why licensing authorities should not either suspend or revoke his liquor license, or make him pay a fine.

Koch said this is not the first time Hull has been late in paying his renewal fees, although it has never before gotten to the point where he was issued a ticket.

Hull could not be reached for comment.

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