Who wants to buy Bentley’s memories? Just a few folks | AspenTimes.com

Who wants to buy Bentley’s memories? Just a few folks

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jeff Pendarvis auctions off a piece of kitchen equipment from the now-defunct Bentley's bar on Friday morning behind the Wheeler Opera House. (Patrick Ghidossi/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN – A Friday morning auction of bar-and-restaurant equipment formerly used by Bentley’s at the Wheeler raised $84.71, city officials said.

However, by the afternoon, the city was fielding calls from people asking if some items were still available, said Rebecca Hodgson, city purchasing officer and assistant to the city manager.

Among the equipment that did not sell in the morning: several stainless-steel sinks and shelves, martini glasses, china plates, a small under-the-counter refrigerator, porcelain toilets, vacuum cleaners, track lighting, a large round dining table with chairs and a night-deposit floor safe.

The former operator of Bentley’s left the stuff behind following the recent closure of the 27-year-old eatery, said Steve Bossart, the city’s capital assets project manager. The city was looking to sell the items or give them away and found few takers at Friday’s auction. The company that has been awarded the lease for the space at the city-owned Wheeler Opera House, Fiercely Local LLC, is redesigning the kitchen and the Bentley’s kitchen equipment doesn’t fit into its plans, Bossart said.

City assets manager Jeff Pendarvis played the role of auctioneer, and despite his earnest efforts, made few sales.

“Does anyone have any interest at all in taking this away?” he asked in reference to the first item, a refrigerated milk-dispensing unit. “It does work.”

The opening bid was $5, but no one bit on the offer.

The second item, a stainless-steel sink, sold for $25. But a call to buy or take away several other pieces of equipment garnered little response.

“We’ve got scrap value here, folks,” Pendarvis said of a free-standing ice bin that generated no interest.

“Did you take marketing classes?” Bossart asked Pendarvis. The two appeared to be enjoying their temporary roles as auction overseers, although Bossart admitted he had a lot of other work to tackle back at the office.

The funniest quip came from a man in the audience who tried to help the city get rid of some toilets and urinals. “Celebrities have used them,” he said.

After rolling through about 25 separate items, only a handful found takers. Hodgson said the city would attempt to sell some remaining equipment through the website http://www.publicsurplus.com while donating other items to Habitat for Humanity. Other pieces would be recycled, she said.

What isn’t known is what will become of the long, wooden bar that became a second home to many local patrons and served as an oasis for visitors over many years. Hodgson said the fate of the bar has yet to be decided.

Earlier this week, the city was able to sell some chandeliers and a pair of sconces through an online auction and raised about $231, she said. Anyone interested in remaining items is welcome to call Hodgson at 920-5079, she said.

“Monday is another day,” she said.


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