Employees of impresario Noel Ashman‘s embattled nightspot The Plumm were permitted to return to the building at 246 West 14th Street on Thursday, April 16, “for the sole purpose of removing personal items and liquor only,” according to court papers.
A city marshal shuttered the onetime celebrity hotspot on April 9 over some $113,727 in unpaid rent, court records show.
In an affidavit, Mr. Ashman said he was “blind-sided” by the eviction. “We do owe money,” he stated. “We need to be open for business to pay owed money.”
A judge denied his plea for a stay of eviction earlier this week.
Opened with much fanfare in the former Nell’s space in 2006, Mr. Ashman’s club benefited from a star-studded support network, which included Yankees pitcher David Wells, model Petra Nemcova, and actors Chris Noth and Jesse Bradford, who “would contribute money and/or lend their name to the club in exchange for an ownership interest,” according to court records.
Mr. Ashman also enlisted socialite Ann Dexter-Jones to help design the space and prominent scenester Samantha Ronson to help promote it.
Yet, the place seemed eternally mired in legal woes. The landlord filed suit against the club a total of six times since 2006, housing court records show.
In 2005, when the club was known as NA, investors unsuccessfully attempted to oust Mr. Ashman as managing partner for overspending “approximately 163% over the amount budgeted in the business plan,” despite the fact the club was operating only three days a week, not seven, as originally planned, according to court papers.
In a subsequent settlement, Mr. Ashman was permitted to stay on as company president under the condition that the club would become profitable or else be sold to the highest bidder.