WILLIAMSBURG — A waterfront cafe on Kent Avenue was seized by the state Wednesday for owing more than $130,000 in back taxes, state officials said.
Pudge Knuckles, a coffee house at 184 Kent Ave., has 13 open warrants for unpaid taxes and owes the state $132,551.50 in sales tax dating back to 2013 and withheld taxes dating back to 2012, according to James Gazzale, a spokesman for the State's Department of Taxation and Finance.
"They're essentially stealing from New York State," Gazzale said. "We're always in communication with the business trying to resolve their tax debt. Seizing the business is always a last resort.
"Unfortunately sometimes we have to go in and seize the business," he said.
Pudge Knuckles is at least the second Williamsburg businesses to be shuttered by the state's Department of Taxation and Finance in recent days. Last week, the state seized Verboten night club for owing $360,000 in back taxes.
A worker at Pudge Knuckles reached through the cafe's Facebook said that the back taxes resulted from a miscommunication between their accountant and the state and that they were doing their best to correct the situation.
"We are actively working extensively with our accountant and the state to pay back debts," the worker wrote. "We are working to resolve the issue today and will reopen tomorrow."
Following the cafe's shutdown, perplexed Williamsburg residents took to twitter to speculate about what had happened to the shuttered business.
I hear Pudge Knuckles has been closed down by the Feds #pudgeknuckles— Leon Carney (@leonjbbc) April 6, 2016