Business & Finance

Unsold to the Highest Bidder: Colorado Cafe Owners Reject Liquor License Bid That Failed to Meet Reserve Price

d25900e0d67b8fe71aef_DSC_0713.JPG
Colorado Cafe President and co-owner Alan Bauerle, pictured in the back, has a discussion with the auctioneer regarding the offer to increase the bid value. Credits: Sean Conklin
9e919d64a0c018db4c57_DSC_0717.JPG
An excited Mark Bahna, a 30-year-old Watchung resident, poses for a photo after believing he reached a verbal agreement with the owners for the Colorado Cafe liquor license. Credits: Sean Conklin
b2e8cdd16963fcdc9e8b_DSC_0711.JPG
Mark Bahna, pictured in the white t-shirt and red hat calls out a bid with his partner on the phone. He was the high bidder for an auction that did not meet the owners' undisclosed reserve price. Credits: Sean Conklin
a6873c04faef1aac5eb5_DSC_0710.JPG
During the auction for the liquor license at the Colorado Cafe on Monday, July 31, there were three groups who were active bidders. Credits: Sean Conklin
d25900e0d67b8fe71aef_DSC_0713.JPG

WATCHUNG, NJ – More than two decades of memories were auctioned off at the Colorado Cafe on Monday, July 31, as the country-themed bar welcomed patrons for one last time with virtually everything up for sale. The collection included kitchen utensils, the iconic Buck Off mechanical bull, and the valuable liquor license, which now has controversy attached to it.

Mark Bahna, a 30-year-old Watchung resident, was the high bidder of the auction for the liquor license with a final bid of $200,000. However, the reserve price was not met as outlined in the terms of the contract, and the Colorado Cafe ownership group declined to sell it for that amount.

Following the auction, Harry Byrnes, who served as one of the auctioneers, attempted to negotiate with the high bidder and seller to come to terms on an agreement with a larger figure. Byrnes suggested increasing the price to $250,000 to the high bidder, who conditionally agreed to the higher amount after making a brief phone call to his partner. However, the Colorado Cafe owners ultimately rejected the offer and the sale was not finalized.

Sign Up for E-News

“I was trying to get them to meet at a particular number,” said Byrnes, a managing partner of A.J. Willner Auctions. “After talking with the seller, they weren’t willing to come down or entertain the offer.”

“We’re going to have a meeting (with the Board of Directors) and discuss our options,” Colorado Cafe president and co-owner Alan Bauerle said in an interview with TAPintoSPF. “We were under the assumption that there were going to be more bidders at the auction, and there weren’t. We discussed the situation and want to slow down to see what our options are.”

Bauerle added that he is in no rush to sell the liquor license and will consult with his five-member Board of Directors before deciding on anything.

However, Bahna claims that there was a verbal agreement at $250,000 -- with an additional five percent in commissions ($12,500) going to A.J. Willner Auctions -- until an outside party got involved after the auction had closed.

“I’m an upfront guy and am disappointed that they would do this to a local resident,” said Bahna. “If I don’t get this license, I’m definitely going to put it through court and pursue some sort of legal action. I’ve already spoke with my attorney, and he’s been closely involved in the last 24 hours.”

For now, the liquor license is still available for sale and remains in the hands of the Colorado Cafe ownership group until someone offers to buy it for a price agreed upon by the shareholders, according to Bauerle.

The one location the liquor license will not go to is the Colorado Cafe’s seven-acre property, which was purchased by Weldon Materials in 2015. Last summer, the Watchung Planning Board approved ordinances that permitted Weldon to apply for an expansion to its rock quarry, which all but sealed the country-themed club’s long-term fate.

 

* Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story reported that there was an official agreement was reached between the Colorado Café owners and Bahna, the high bidder. The $250K figure that was cited as the sale price was a proposed figure by the auctioneer, which was accepted by Banha, in an attempt to reach the undisclosed reserve price. The Colorado Cafe owners declined the offer. Meanwhile, Banha told TAPinto that a verbal agreement was in place. The story also misidentified the co-owner as Angelo Porchetta where it should have been Alan Bauerle. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Seth Meyers Attends Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction

June 22, 2018

Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, was recently a special guest at Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction where a record-breaking $1.35 million was raised. 

SMGF’s Annual Gala & Auction raises critical funds to ensure the Foundation can continue to offer access to high-quality ...

What Is HIIT and Why All The Buzz?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Many people, especially those with busy schedules, love HITT because they can get maximum benefits in a short period of time! According to Shape Magazine, “Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. And according to ...

Register Today for Summer Youth Courses Offered at Union County College

CRANFORD – This summer the Office of Continuing Education at Union County College is expanding its course offerings for youth ages 11-18. Classes are taught by NJ-certified teachers and subject matter experts that specialize in delivering high-quality youth programs. Classes begin the week of June 25 and run through August 23.

Classes offered include Introduction to Musical Theater, ...

Summit Area YMCA Pride Celebration Brings Strong Support from the Local Community

On a sunny Friday Afternoon in June, the Summit Area YMCA hosted its first Pride Event at Columbia Park in Berkeley Heights.

This first-of-its-kind event was to provide a venue for our local community to show its support of the LGBTQ community. June has been designated as the month to celebrate LGBTQ pride worldwide. According to the Library of Congress, “Celebrations include pride ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 21, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_946d04346cba30ae4cb8_st._huberts_3

Sat, June 23, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Carousel_image_946d04346cba30ae4cb8_st._huberts_3

Sun, June 24, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Carousel_image_f22718b50d966a6916f0_tbc_flier

Sun, June 24, 10:00 AM

eMedical Urgent Care, Berkeley Heights

eMedical Urgent Care to Hold Free Teddy Care ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3e68b1f0c65d22cd79bc_d6a71058d531d31a8cff_achievers

Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour

Education

Carousel_image_946d04346cba30ae4cb8_st._huberts_3

Mon, June 25, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Madison

Kids' Critter Camp

Education

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...