Bar owner, lease holder in bankruptcy court

Bar owner, lease holder in bankruptcy court

EL PASO, Texas - The owner of the 3 Legged Monkey bar and the current lease holder of the shopping center where the bar sits found themselves in bankruptcy court Thursday.

A bankruptcy judge will determine if the city's agreement to purchase a controlling interest in the hawkins plaza will be approved.

If that sale is ok'd, Patriot Place Ltd., the current property owners, would be forced to evict the bar from the strip mall.

This also comes on the heels of the city's ongoing efforts to shut down the bar because of complaints from nearby residents, by revoking its license.

In the past Armstrong has insisted he's invested thousands of dollars to increase security and decrease noise.

In court Thursday afternoon, David Brandt, owner of PPL took the stand.

Bar owner Mike Armstrong's attorney asked Brandt if he was acting in good faith in trying to protect his lease with the city knowing that the Three Legged Monkey would be forced out.

Brandt answered yes.

Armstrong spoke with ABC-7 about the testimony.

"His (Brandt) testimony proves that it's his self-interest that he is protecting. The city has put him in the position where they are unwilling to compromise," said Armstrong.

A request for comment from Brandt was declined.

On the stand, Brandt referred to Armstrong as a bad tenant.

He also told the courtroom that he would allow other tenants to remain in the plaza if the city were to purchase the property -- but not the 3 Legged Monkey.

"The city is bullying him to kick me out of the center by paying him $3 million to evict one of the safest businesses that has been around for 10 years. I have the documents to prove it," said Armstrong.

Before court was adjourned, lawyers for both parties said they woulf attempt to reach a settlement outside of court before a December 6 hearing.

The hearing will have to wait until next month because the judge is flown in from Austin because El Paso does not have a bankruptcy court judge.

The judge is only here about once a month.

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