June 19, By Christian Murray
Alobar, the award-winning restaurant located at 46-42 Vernon Boulevard, has been shut down by the New York State Tax Department.
The restaurant was closed by the department on June 15 and a bright orange poster that reads “seized” has been plastered on the front door.
The owners owe the state $336,588 in taxes, according to a spokesman for the NYS Tax Department. The debt is for sales tax owing for between 11/30/14 through 5/31/16 and for failure to pay withholding tax for the period of 9/30/14 through 12/31/14, according to the department.
Jeff Blath, an owner of Alobar and long-time Long Island City resident, said “I’ve got my lawyer on it who is trying to fix it. We plan to open soon.”
The restaurant is best known for its cured meats and has become one of the more popular eateries in Hunters Point. It has often been included in the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list since it opened in 2011.
The spokesman for the tax department said the agency typically contacts a business owner multiple times to try and work out a payment plan before seizing a location.
“It’s not a move we take lightly,” the spokesman said.