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'The bar was clearly open': Aspen's Bootsy Bellows ordered to close over public health order violation

The bar was open and serving alcohol nearly three hours after the 10 p.m. cutoff set by the health order, according to Aspen Police.
Credit: Maddie Vincent, Aspen Times

ASPEN, Colo. — A downtown Aspen bar was clearly open and serving alcohol at nearly 1 a.m. Saturday, with a full staff, loud music and a crowd of up to 75 people drinking, according to police reports.

Further, neither the Bootsy Bellows staff who appeared to be working, including cocktail servers, bartenders and a bouncer, nor the patrons at tables, the bar or on the dance floor were wearing masks, the reports state.

“Andrew Sandler, the owner, was standing at the bottom of the stairs next to the door, and when he saw us, his face dropped,” according to a report by Aspen Police Officer Lauren Sumner. “I walked in and noticed at least three servers/bartenders as well as one bouncer working.

“The bar was clearly open.”

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Both Sumner and Officer Jeremy Johnson were on routine foot patrol downtown at 12:55 a.m. Saturday when they noticed the basement door to Bootsy Bellows was ajar and could hear loud music and people talking, according to their reports.

Once inside, Sumner and Johnson also noted further evidence of alcohol being sold at the bar — which is not allowed to be open at all under state and county public health orders — nearly three hours after the statewide 10 p.m. last call for alcohol to be served at restaurants.

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“At one point a customer (who put a mask on) came up to me and asked me the following: ‘So a bunch of people just bought bottle service only five minutes ago and the bottles were about $150 or so; can we re-cap them and take them with us?’” Johnson wrote in his report. “I later observed a female cocktail waitress present a receipt to a patron for payment.”

> Read the full story at the Aspen Times.

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