State shuts down Avon restaurant |

State shuts down Avon restaurant

Cliff Thompson

Sales tax on purchases at the restaurant from February through June have not been remitted, said Sandra Lowman of the Department of Revenue.

“I think anytime a landmark restaurant like that closes in Avon, it’s a bad thing,” said Avon Town Manager Bill Efting. “Cassidy’s has been a focal point in Avon for many years, and they will be missed.”

Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall is the operating company of SLH Restaurant LLC. Rumors of financial difficulties at the business have been swirling through the community for weeks.

An auction of assets is set for Sept. 4 if the tax remains unpaid, Lowman said. If the auction occurs, furniture, dishes, food, alcohol and other assets will be auctioned on site. If the sales tax is paid, however, the seizure will be lifted. Local police assisted state officials in changing locks on the building.

Cassidy’s Hole in the Wall – named after Butch Cassidy, a turn of the century outlaw who hid in the remote and famous Hole in the Wall hideout in northwestern Colorado’s near Brown’s Park – opened in 1978.

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The bar and restaurant has seen a succession of owners. Original partners Allan Nottingham, John Eaton and Rod McCain opened the restaurant as The Hole in the Wall in 1978 in the Benchmark Plaza Shopping Center.

Current owner Glenn Heelan, who has owned the restaurant since 1992, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Heelan took over ownership of the restaurant from Terry and Jan Ray, expanding it from a burgers-and-beer joint to an upscale, two-story, 8,000-square-foot restaurant and sports bar featuring weekend musical entertainment, pool tables and walls of televisions.

Musician Roy Bloomfield said he learned there might be some problems with the business when his regularly scheduled Thursday night performance was cancelled earlier this week. He was told it was a temporary cancellation while Avon’s streetscape project repaved the parking lot in front of the building.

The restaurant itself was closed at the time the state changed the locks. A sign on the door prior to the state’s action states the closure was due to plumbing problems. A new sign notes the seizure action by the state.

“This (seizure action) is absolutely the last resort,” said Lowman. “We’ve tried to work with them. It usually takes several months before an action is taken.”

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