Snowmass restaurant owner facing eviction
SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Embattled restaurateur Scott DeGraff, whose restaurant and bars in Snowmass Village were put into receivership Thursday, is now facing eviction by his landlord.Joe Krabacher, the Aspen-based attorney for Related Westpac, on Friday filed an eviction action and a summons in Ninth Judicial District Court that alleges DeGraff owes $175,496 in back rent on Junk and Liquid Sky in Snowmass’ Base Village. The court documents claim DeGraff has failed to pay rent since April.DeGraff has been ordered to appear in court Nov. 17 to answer to the complaint and charges that he is unlawfully in possession of the 5,774-square-foot space.A notice of default and demand for payment were sent to DeGraff’s three Aspen addresses, as well as to his attorneys in Chicago, on Oct. 22. DeGraff had 10 days to respond, which he didn’t, according to court documents.The letter also explains that turning over possession of the premises doesn’t relieve DeGraff from his liability to pay the rent, or other amounts due covering the balance of the period of the lease.The lease stipulates that DeGraff will not subject Related Westpac’s interest in the property to any liens for labor or materials for improvements made to the property by the tenant, the complaint claims.There are hundreds of thousand of dollars in liens filed against DeGraff for allegedly failing to pay the general contractor and subcontractors for their work last year.The complaint asks the court to grant the eviction, as well as rule that there was a breach of lease and guaranty that have created damages to Related Westpac that will be determined at trial.The company also alleges that DeGraff has removed items from the space and is using them in his other restaurant, N9NE Restaurant, located on the Hyman Avenue mall in Aspen. Related Westpac is seeking an injunction and a temporary restraining order, requiring DeGraff to return all items from Junk and Liquid Sky.DeGraff declined to comment, saying in an e-mail that he “cannot talk about the matter at this time. This situation has been trying to be resolved by all parties for a while. Cannot discuss while the attorneys are working on it. Happy to discuss at the appropriate time.”DeGraff also has allegedly failed to pay back most of a $2 million loan Related Westpac granted him in November 2007. As a result, Judge James Boyd on Thursday appointed local CPA firm Otte & Cotte as the receiver on behalf of Related Westpac.Otte & Cotte now have custodial responsibility for the property, including tangible and intangible assets and rights.DeGraff signed a promissory note with Related Westpac on Nov. 13, 2007, and agreed to pay back the loan by Aug. 13, 2009. According to court documents, DeGraff still owes $1,992,292.He entered into a lease with Related Westpac on Nov. 6, 2007, and it was then modified on April 17, 2008. According to the terms of the lease, DeGraff was supposed to pay $23,500 a month. As of Dec. 1, that was supposed to increase to $25,000 a month. The lease had incremental increases until its expiration in firstname.lastname@example.org
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