Steamboat Springs Old West Steak House didn’t open Friday morning after its last night of business Thursday, owner Marty Duran said.
Duran, who bought the restaurant from Don Silva in April 2008, said an agreement he had last year to catch up on rent during the ski season wasn’t available this year and building owner Jean Sagouspe evicted him Thursday. He said four of his 25 full- and part-time employees worked without pay that night.
“I’m very unhappy,” Duran said. “It’s easy for me to say that Jean could have been different, done this or that. But this is his business. It’s not personal. It’s a business decision.”
Calls to Old West Management, which Sagouspe owns, and his office in Los Banos, Calif., were not returned Friday.
Duran said he bought the restaurant, which has been open since 1978, right before the recession and the business hasn’t recovered. He said he owes rent for October, November and December and could be liable for the next six months for defaulting on the lease.
“We did everything we possibly could to keep it afloat,” Duran said. “We’re probably in denial keeping it open longer than we should. I’ve just never given up on anything in my life.”