A few hundred people bid on items at Poirrier’s restaurant in Breck in a government auction | SummitDaily.com

A few hundred people bid on items at Poirrier’s restaurant in Breck in a government auction

BRECKENRIDGE – The somber mood in Poirrier’s at the Wellington was interrupted by periods of excitement as state Department of Revenue officials oversaw an auction of everything in the three-story building.

The state seized the business after the restaurant owners failed to pay about $125,000 in state sales tax and employee withholding taxes and $33,000 in sales taxes to the town of Breckenridge, said Lance Hillis, assistant town finance director.

About 200 people explored the dining rooms, kitchen, bar, attic and upstairs bedrooms throughout the day, some searching for specific items and others looking for anything that caught their fancy.

It took all day for auctioneer Buster Cattles to sell everything in the house, including Victorian furniture, beds, decor, hundreds of bottles of wine, kitchen equipment, linens, art, office supplies and patio furniture.

“I’m looking for window coverings,” said Marie Roybal, who drove up from Denver to attend her first auction. “That and silverware, chandeliers and furniture.”

“I’m here out of morbid curiosity,” said Bob Nothnagel of Breckenridge. “And the beer.”

“It’s possible I’ll bid on the wine,” said Alex de Ravel of Silverthorne. “But I have to be really conservative because I’ve seen a lot of restaurant owners here today, and unless it’s a good deal, it’s not worth it.”

“Barstools – that’s it,” said Michelle Tracey of Littleton. “Barstools and anything else that looks fun.”

Lots did, if the bidding was any indication.

An eight-burner range sold for $800. A steamer went for $200, a rack of pots and pans sold for $200 and an ornate, gilded mirror sold for $50.

“Sixty-five and now 70,” Cattles called out at breakneck speed. “Sixty-five and now 70, do I hear 70, 65 and now 70, 65, 65, sold to 59. Fifty-nine is the buyer. Fifty-nine is the buyer.”

Bidders – of which there were more than 135 – have to know what they’re bidding on, Cattles said. Everything is sold as is – broken, intact, sometimes sight-unseen in a box.

“Homework, homework, homework,” he instructed the crowd. “Homework is the key to auctions. You can’t rely on the person standing next to you.”

Many, however, relied on cell phones and stood quietly in corners and relayed information about auction items and bids to people on the other end.

Cattles began by auctioning items in the kitchen, including pizza ovens, prep tables and appliances. When they were all sold, he moved to the dining area, where high bidders took home Victorian chairs, linens, flatware, dishes, tables and art. From there, they moved upstairs to three bedrooms, and then to the basement, which, until the establishment closed, was home to The Big Easy nightclub.

Some bidders, while eager to participate, also expressed dismay that the popular Cajun restaurant is no longer in business.

Others milled about discussing the dinners they’d had in the restaurant or the bands they’d heard in the bar.

“It’s a bummer,” said Eric Mamula, owner of Downstairs at Eric’s. “Connie and Bobby are nice people. It’s a shame.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.

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