Appeal could take several months After a weekend of being closed down after a circuit court judge ruled against them in their legal battle with the city, the Ugly Monkey is again open for business downtown, thanks to an appeals court granting a temporary stay of the closure order. A date has not been set for arguments before the court of appeals in the case, where the city revoked the bar’s lease in Union Station, citing incidents of lewd behavior and dangerous conduct prohibited in the lease. The process could take several months, during which the bar will remain open.
“We’re thrilled to death,” said Ugly Monkey attorney Bob Garelick. “I think that the court must have felt that our case had some merit, otherwise they probably wouldn’t have granted the stay. They really jumped on the city’s case for the city’s so-called moralistic approach.”
Justin Ohlemiller, spokesman for the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development, emphasized that this is still a contract case at the core.
“We believe we have a strong case and obviously the circuit court judge accepted that when he ruled against the Ugly Monkey,” Ohlemiller said. “You have a situation where a tenant violated a lease on numerous occasions, and the city was forced to take action. As much as has been made about the behavior that’s been going on there, what it comes down to for the city is that they’re not abiding by the contract that was signed in 2002 … That behavior was a violation of the lease, as well as the patron who was burned in a stunt that was pulled by the bartender. In some cases, the promotion of the lewd behavior has occurred numerous times. As a landlord, we can’t turn a blind eye to that.”
Nightlife On the Saturday night after the appeal, a festive air filled the bar, with signs reading “We’re open!” in large letters.
“People have been reacting very positively in support of us,” said co-owner Todd Campbell. “Since this has happened, attendance has gone down somewhat, as the media has reported we were closed many times. We’re getting a lot of support from the people. It’s really flattering.”
Numerous patrons at the bar that night were vocal in their support.
“I think it’s total crap, because this stuff is happening everywhere,” said Kim Hopwood, who was there with several friends at a bachelorette party. “If they close it down, it’s going to go somewhere else. Are they going to close all the bars down?”