Sugar House is shut, and so is another chapter in sordid Denver history

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Things don't look too sweet for Sugar House, the swingers club that Scottie Ewing opened in 2007 after selling Denver Players, a hip hooker business. A broken window in front is covered with plywood, the door is locked up tight, the voicemail box is full. Its closure (for now) ends another wacky chapter in Denver history.

Sex marked the spot.

Ewing, a former pro ski racer with a very varied resume (as revealed in this 2006 Westword cover story), had opened Sugar House at 1395 West Alameda Avenue after landlords in northwest Denver objected to the very-adult, and unauthorized, activities in the storefront he'd rented there (read more in our 2007 story "Exhibitionists!"). By contrast, Ewing was very upfront regarding his new enterprise, tagging Sugar House with the motto, "If sexy offends you, stay home," and pressing on with plans over neighbors' objections."The whole philosophy is that you gather people with similar interests," he explained just before the club opened. "There was no place for people with this lifestyle or with those interests to have a default place to meet."

After that, Ewing kept a relatively low profile until last spring, when he was revealed as the source of the accusations that Michael Hancock, then running for Denver mayor, had allegedly been a customer of Denver Players. The story broke just a few days before the run-off election, creating one of the wilder weeks for local journalism, with Ewing reporting that his computer had been stolen and reporters poring over Hancock's phone records. But Hancock, who denied the accusations, won the election handily, and the story went away...except for a few occasional hiccups on the web and talk radio.

Ewing went away, too. By the end of summer, he no longer owned Sugar House, having sold it to a manager, Kelly Bailey. And late last year, he left town altogether, landing in California while he makes plans to open a Sugar House in Las Vegas.

Now Denver's Sugar House, which had added a weekday, G-rated alter-ego of the Alameda Grill, could be gone for good. In February, Bailey was served with a notice of a liquor-license violation -- allegedly serving to a minor -- and she recently received a letter from the Denver Department of Excise and License, ordering her to "appear to show cause why the temporary permit to operate a hotel and restaurant class liquor license issued to Khameleon Group, LLC, doing business as Sugar House, 1395 West Alameda Avenue, Denver, Colorado, should not be suspended or revoked for alleged violations of the Colorado Liquor Code as stated in the February 2, 2012 Amended Order to Show Cause in this matter."

That hearing has been postponed, because a witness -- a police cadet who appears to be part of the underage issue -- has a conflict with the scheduled March 16 show-case hearing. But in the meantime, Sugar House/Alameda Grill is locked up tight.

Another chapter closed.

Is John Hickenlooper following in the footsteps of gaffe-happy Joe Biden? Read about it in "John Hickenlooper's bloopers prove he's vice presidential material."

Location Info

Sugar House - CLOSED

1395 W. Alameda Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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23 comments
Jess
Jess

Seems like the chapter is not quite over. On their partner site, Scottie is advertising a party on the 28th of July. Seems like he is just trying to squeeze more money out of the swingers. Not sure why the city would allow this since they shut him down some months before.

Will Smith
Will Smith

I laugh when I read these comments about Scottie. I worked side by side Scottie for 8 months building his establishment. You have never met someone as quiet as him before....But when pressed, he does what every other person does. He won't back down from a debate, or a fight. Would you all have been happy if he would have "unintentionally" forgot to describe in detail what activities would be going on at The Sugar House? He could have LEGALLY started his business without mentioning that hey would cater to a certain customer, but he was upfront!I won't make excuses for any legal problems he brought on himself, people make decisions and they have to pay for them. But the Westword likes to ride him for, as I see it, not kneeling before the church of the self proclaimed "True Journalism" Why the Hard on for a guy who didn't agree with your description of him? The Westword needs to take their self righteous attitude and take a stroll down the Medical Marijuana Mile that they cater to, and use those "Investigative" skills, to report on a truly ILLEGAL business!  Oh that's right, all those 18-25 year old guys all have CHRONIC PAIN!!!! I forgot.I read the Westword, and you write a lot of great pieces, but your teenage girl grudge holding ability just gets old, and has seemed that way for 10 years.

Justaguy
Justaguy

I have hadthe misfortune of knowing Scottie Ewing for about 6 years now and he is just anall-around bad person with a violent temper and sleazy business tactics.

Instead ofworking hard to build a business, he spends his time slandering others in hopesthat the people will then go to his. Anyone that knows him understands thisquite well.

Why isWestword so hard on this pimp? Probably because he threatened reporters withviolence, lied about his past and present operations, lied to police, lied tothe owners of buildings he rented for his business (remember the "coffeehouse"?) and threatened to sue anybody that said anything truthful aboutthe guy.

The bestpart is his boastful interview in the Ski magazine where he is so vane that"Bobby" (Scottie) is friends with Scottie. Really?

Denver is ahappier place with the guy gone.

A Sad Neighbor
A Sad Neighbor

I work in the neighborhood and stopped in for lunch several times per month.  They were great folks, with awesome food.  I don't care what they choose (or chose) to do after-hours on Saturday nights.  And yeah, it's wrong to serve anyone underage, but the Denver Gestapo could probably nail any establishment any night of the week with their underhanded entrapment tactics.  As far as being a blight on the neighborhood, just go a few doors down to the Valverde Country Club and you'll understand the definition of "blight."

HottieSuz
HottieSuz

The notice on the door of Sugar House is a notice of default for non-payment of rent. Kelly, it seems is behind on her monthly rent payment of $4,000. The notice is claiming she owes $9,000.

Just an FYI

Denverdenverdenver5280
Denverdenverdenver5280

Check the property taxes for the building...looks like the owners and Scottie were quite behind...

Kyliee
Kyliee

They are some $17,000 behind. Anyone want to buy a whore house cheap?

JennyInDenver
JennyInDenver

The owners of Sugar House are Randy and Susan Jackson. Not sure what went wrong or why they are in trouble.

Alameda Dog
Alameda Dog

Thanks for posting this, Suz. It helps clarify the situation.

Ilovedenver5280
Ilovedenver5280

As someone who knows more of the information about the situation, hold tight for a giant surprise. Ms. Bailey is the last to blame for what is going on. But don't hold me accountable, just wait...

Highly Confidential
Highly Confidential

Aww come on Ms. Bailey, tell us what the big surprise is.  Is it a super grand reopening bubble party?  Will there be door prizes of grape flavored lube?  Or have you installed a couple new stripper poles? Maybe a new can of Lysol?

Alameda Dog
Alameda Dog

In June 2009, a minor was served alcohol and received an unlicensed massage at the Sugar House then owned by Scottie Ewing. For these offenses, the Sugar House's liquor licenses were suspended for two days on a Sunday and Monday in February 2010.

The Sugar House, under a new owner, has been closed for weeks since being accused of serving alcohol to a minor. It would be interesting to find out how the circumstances differed from 2009 to 2012 and why Excises and Licenses is dealing with this situation more harshly.

Runn
Runn

The realquestion is how (or why) the city gave a hotel license to Scottie Ewing whenthey are not a hotel. No one is allowed to spend the night, they can howeverhave sex there is they are members of a website partner.

The ownersof Sugar House have not changed. The license had to, since Scottie is a felonand is not able to hold it in his name. Not sure why the real owner will notput it in his name.

The place isblight to the city and should be shut down so a legal business can operatethere.

Doug Ferguson
Doug Ferguson

I'd LOVE to know why you feel this location was, or is, a 'plight' on the community. Consenting adults getting together after hours for things that they'd like to do together? Lordy have mercy no! It's no different than your average bar except the people in lifesytle clubs are safer, less likely to be wasted, and make better decisions about what they're going to do with themselves.Comments like this one and the one before it just show a lack of understand and/or a lack or caring to understand. You'd rather impose your morals on someone else than listen or just let people be.

The lesson here? Mind your own.

Highly Confidential
Highly Confidential

I think there are others who have shared valuable thoughts here.  Doug's are actually a pretty off topic and really miss the point of the whole debate.  I assume that you're thanking Doug for sharing because he's willing to use his name and photo and that's commendable.  However, I think they're are several others who have shared thoughts that are relevant and helpful.  This is just one of those topics where everyone isn't in the position to post as openly as Doug.  The owners and managers of the Sugar House have shown themselves to be pretty devious people so attaching ones' name to a negative comment about them might carry some level of risk.  And, attaching ones' name to a positive comment would "out" the person as a swinger which, despite the "education" Dave provided about "the lifestyle," isn't really something many people want to declare openly (for good reason).

Highly Confidential
Highly Confidential

Alameda Dog:

The difference between the way the 2009 liquor license was handled (I assumeyou're insinuating that Scottie Ewing got someone to pull some strings to getthe place back open sooner), and the way the current violation is playing outdoes not change the fact that it's illegal to serve alcohol to minors. Whoknows what's really going on with the current violation.  Maybe, since theplace is still owned by Mr. Ewing but licensed to Kelly Bailey, it's takinglonger to sort out.  Maybe, in light of the inappropriate relationshipbetween Mayor Hancock and Mr. Ewing, they're doing things by the book this timeso as not to appear unethical.  Maybe Ms. Bailey is keeping it closedbecause she knows there are numerous other violations that could come to light.  Who knows, just let it play out.  I'm sure there are other places you could go in the meantime. 

Doug Ferguson:

It's a "blight," not a "plight." 

Definition of "Blight" - A person or thing that mars or preventsgrowth, improvement, or prosperity; An ugly urban district.

Establishments that serve minors and harbor prostitution activities (remember,Scottie "Player's Club" Ewing is still theowner) mar growth, improvement and prosperity (except for the pimps, Isuppose).  As for, "An ugly urban district," check out a currentpicture of the place.  Pretty ugly and sketch looking. 

Also, I'm not sure how you took Runn's post (or really any of the posts) tomean that the opposition to the behavior of the Sugar Club's owners hasanything to do with a lack of understanding of the benefits of"lifestyle" clubs.  We all get it, you like to get together andscrew.  If that helps you be safer, less likely to be wasted and makebetter decisions about what you're going to do with yourselves then, by allmeans, screw away.  Like you said,consenting adults can get together and do anything (legal) they want todo.  However, that still doesn't make it okay for the Sugar House to servealcohol to minors. 

 

I'm sure if you all hold tight, Ms. Baily will find some wayto get your club up and running again.  She has just as many friends inhigh places (or maybe more like low places) as did Mr. Ewing.

 

(P.S. – Would you please explain to your sweaty desperatecouple friends that, “No, I don’t want to come home with you.  Seriously, no, I won’t like it if I try it.  No really, telling me that your husband is agood lay or that you REEEAAALLLLYYYY want to try it with another woman isn’tgoing to change my mind,” really does mean “NO!”  That kind of thing really doesn’t help y’allsimage.

Miker
Miker

Looks like these guys will now have to use Backpage ads for their sex trafficking. Just google village voice pimps, owners of Westword to find out all about their sex trafficking.

Doug Ferguson
Doug Ferguson

It's completely inappropriate to equate a lifestyle club with sex trafficking. If anything, it shows your ignorance and the fact that you shouldn't be commenting on things you don't understand.

Lenny80209
Lenny80209

ScottieEwing, the front man of Sugar House was arrested for not paying taxes on hishigh-end prostitution business. He is a pimp. He is not good to women.

He was alsoarrested for biting the ear during a fight with the husband of one of hisworking girls when he (the husband) found out she was working as a prostitute forScottie.

Scottie didan interview boasting about being a pimp for a ski magazine:  http://www.skinet.com/skiing/f...

His “crookedlawyer” he boasts about in the article, later killed himself after a policestand-off following a night of partying with Scottie. He was high on coke andestasy.

http://blogs.westword.com/late...

Thelifestyle club and event people in Denver never wanted anything to do with theguy. He is violent, aggressive and a very angry guy that Denver is better offwithout. There are not many people that he crossed paths with that he did notthreaten.

His businessmodel is to post fake negative reviews about everyone else and fake positivereviews about his place. Sugar House was never a popular place with thelifestyle community in Denver and the closing of it a breath of fresh air foreveryone.

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