[This will probably be a moot point – seems Mr. Kayali never bothered to transfer the liquor license to his name, and Mr. Kahn had transferred it out of his name, so the bar/club will be shut down since they were operating without a liquor license.] By Conor McCormick-Cavanagh, Westword | After a lengthy hearing in Denver County Court on January 13 that featured dueling arguments from lawyers representing Beta Event Center and the City of Denver, Judge Beth Faragher introduced a new element in the long-running public-nuisance case: the owner of the building that houses Beta.
“That, quite honestly, is a big concern of the court,” Faragher said, noting that she doesn’t want to burden the building owner, Colman Kahn, with compounding costs associated with the property at 1909 Blake Street.
In mid-September, the Denver City Attorney’s Office had filed a public-nuisance complaint and a motion for a temporary restraining order to shut down Beta. Faragher had actually granted the city’s motion at the end of that month, but lawyers for Beta filed a motion to vacate the temporary restraining order in October. In November, the judge held a hearing to adjudicate the competing claims, but a filing error by attorneys for the City of Denver put a halt to that hearing, which was moved to January 13.
In court for the rescheduled hearing, Kahn shared the history of the now-infamous building. He purchased it in 1989, long before LoDo started booming, because he thought what he was told had been a chicken-processing facility might work as a home for his own venture. “My business was commercial carpet, and I bought the building with the intent to remodel it and move my company there because it had the parking lot,” Kahn said. “After I bought the building, I stored samples there for quite a while. It was empty. And then they came out that they were going to build a baseball stadium at 20th and Blake. Then I realized I didn’t need to have my carpet company at 19th and Blake.”
Instead, Kahn began leasing the building to a series of entertainment enterprises, offering them relatively low rent as long as they did the work on the building.
First came Dick’s Last Resort, then Alice Cooper’stown, then Rise, a Las Vegas-style nightclub. In 2008, the building became the home of Beta, an EDM club that quickly gained international acclaim. A decade later, after the owners of Beta tried to sell the club, they closed it in January 2019. The next year they reopened it after partnering with Valentes Corleons (legal name Hussam Kayali), who had run nightclubs in other parts of LoDo; he took over as full-time owner in March 2020, transforming it into a hip-hop venue.
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Read the rest of the mess here:
Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.