Update: Spicy’s Barb-B-Que owners say the restaurant will be “reopening shortly” and are working out a payment plan with state tax authorities. Read latest story.
Spicy’s, Riverhead’s iconic BBQ joint, has been seized by state tax authorities.
The West Main Street restaurant, and its Bellport counterpart, have been closed down by the NY State Department of taxation and Finance on outstanding tax warrants.
The restaurant was closed Tuesday afternoon with orange “seized” notices and a copy of a tax compliance levy were posted on the windows.
A spokesperson for the N.Y. State Department of Taxation and Finance said the full warrant amount is $229,936. He confirmed the warrant was for unpaid sales taxes.
Spicy’s owner Rick Stoner did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Landlord Dee Muma, who bought the property in 2012, said the tax lien doesn’t affect the real estate or the building.
Stoner has always been a good tenant, she said. “I saw him the other day when he came in to drop off his rent check. I’ve never had a problem.”
Stoner’s father started Spicy’s some 40 years ago, Muma said. “Rick was actually inquiring about buying the property about a year ago. He said he wanted to keep it in the family forever.”
Editor’s note: This story was amended post-publication to reflect the comments of a representative of the N.Y. State Department of Taxation and Finance.