Settlement in the works for David Burke Kitchen in Aspen

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times

Don’t count out David Burke Kitchen’s chances in Aspen just yet.

Faced with an eviction lawsuit before it even opened, the restaurant might be able to debut after all if settlement discussions with the building’s landlord, developer Mark Hunt, come to fruition.

On Monday, attorneys for David Burke Kitchen filed a motion saying that “the parties have reached a settlement in principle.”

The motion, filed by Aspen law firm Garfield & Hecht PC, seeks more time to formally answer the eviction suit. A district judge approved the motion, giving the restaurant until Jan. 5 to answer.

The motion says that “additional time is needed (to answer the lawsuit) so that the parties can attempt to memorialize and execute the necessary settlement papers, which are diligently underway and ongoing.”

Christopher Bryan, one of the attorneys representing David Burke Kitchen — the suit formally refers to it as Rocky Aspen LLC — declined to go into details of the settlement Tuesday.

“We do have a settlement in principle, and that’s all I can say,” he said.

On Dec. 5, Hunt’s 204 South Galena Street LLC sued the celebrity chef’s restaurant for allegedly not paying its November rent of $44,583 for the 5,535-square-foot restaurant space and $11,667 for the 4,012-square-foot lounge spot, which would be located in the building’s basement. The suit also makes a series of breach-of-contract claims.

It was the latest setback for the American rustic food-themed restaurant, which initially had designs to open in February with a top-floor eatery and basement lounge. The location is at the corner of Galena Street and West Hopkins Avenue, where Hunt built a modern structure replacing the former Gap building earlier this year.

Burke is a New York chef who achieved fame through his highly-praised restaurants and appearances on the “Iron Chef America” reality show.