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Restaurateur Scott DeGraff dies in Colorado home

Updated: December 27, 2011 8:08AM

Scott DeGraff — the Highland Park native who has restaurants and nightclubs in Chicago, Las Vegas and Dallas — died early Thursday in a home in Aspen, Colo., in what authorities say was an apparent suicide.

DeGraff, who launched the N9NE Group in 1999 with childhood friend Michael Morton, was found in a car inside a garage Thanksgiving Day, after reports that a carbon monoxide alarm had been going off.

The home where DeGraff was found did not belong to him, and the relationship between DeGraff and the homeowner wasn’t immediately clear, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

DeGraff and Morton’s collaboration began in 1992, when they opened Drink Chicago. The partners’ flagship N9NE Steakhouse opened in 2000.

In recent years, DeGraff had come out on the losing end of several lawsuits, the Review-Journal reported. The most recent setback occurred Oct. 26, when a federal judge ordered DeGraff to pay almost $4 million to a New York lender.

Contributing: AP

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