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Exhibitionists

The legal issue involved a simple lease. But when the two parties met in a Denver courtroom, one really came out swinging.

And though the backstory on this case had everything -- "late-night sex clubs," anonymous mailings, even the much-publicized suicide of Ewing's longtime attorney, Michael Andre, in a Cherry Creek standoff earlier this year -- in this courtroom, it finally came down to the simple matter of a lease. A lease that made the tenants responsible for determining that the use they contemplated for the space conformed with all of the city's rules and codes. And while a swingers club is a perfectly legal business in Denver, this particular spot had not been built out and licensed for one. After testimony that stretched over two days, the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Romeo and Weimer, and also awarded them attorneys' fees.

The building at 3648 Navajo is no longer empty; a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth now rents it. The certificate of occupancy remains unchanged.

And Ewing and Thomas have gone on to a new project in a new neighborhood. Within the next few weeks, they plan to open Sugar House, a bar and lounge at Pecos Street and Alameda Avenue. Although some neighbors oppose it, they got their liquor license last August, and work on the interior continued even as the judge read his verdict. But then, Ewing doesn't have to worry about getting evicted from here. He bought this building.

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