Officials Shut Down Legendary New York City Pizzeria, Kick Out Customers and Staff

Officials Shut Down Legendary New York City Pizzeria, Kick Out Customers and Staff
A party hosted by CAA & Remy Martin at Luchini in Los Angeles, CA on June 21, 2018. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Remy Martin)

Officials seized and shuttered iconic legendary New York pizzeria Di Fara over unpaid taxes.

Tax officials brought in police around 11:30 a.m on August 20 to take possession of the property.

“They walked in and said, ‘We are seizing the place. Get out! We are changing the locks,’” Di Fara employee Den Rella told the New York Post.

The world famous Brooklyn pizza shop owes $167,506.75 going back to 2014, according to the Department of Finance and Taxation information obtained by the Post.

“I have a payment plan with them already for an old audit,” said Margaret DeMarco-Mieles, whose family owns the pizzeria. “They are saying we missed a payment,” she explained to the Post.

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Love Triangle …heart shaped but not on purpose! #difara #pizzas #onebiteeveryoneknowstherules #brooklynnyc #pizzaparty????

A post shared by Di Fara Pizza (@difarapizzanyc) on

The store’s closure impacted business and led to disappointed customers. The small pizza shop regularly hosts long lines out the door until the ingredients run out.

“I’m very upset,” said Lucas McDonald, who traveled to the pizzeria with his friend Julia Jastremski for a birthday meal. “I’ve been here before. It’s one of the best spots in New York. I’m from Staten Island and I came all the way out here for nothing.”

Margaret’s father, Domenico DeMarco, opened Di Fara in 1964. He is now in his 80s.

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A rare moment these days ! Am extremely grateful to share and this time I choose not to include ” hashtags”

A post shared by Di Fara Pizza (@difarapizzanyc) on

“We are going to keep this,” Margaret told the Post. “My dad built a great brand for himself. We need to be back in business.”

Right now it is not clear when or if Di Fara will reopen, or if DeMarco-Mieles and her family have enough funds to cover the tax debt.

“Seizing a business is always a last resort. Long before we seize a business, we are in communication with the business owner, letting them know that there is an outstanding tax debt, and we work directly with them to find a way to resolve that debt,” said James Gazzale, spokesman for the state Department of Taxation and Finance, via AMNY. “When that doesn’t happen, we then seize a business. And then even after that, we continue to have an open dialogue with business owners, hoping to find a mutually beneficial way to resolve the tax debt as quickly as possible and allow them to reopen.”

Di Fara is known for making the lists of the best pizza places in New York City, and is even on lists of the best pizza places in the world.

Running into problems is not new to Di Fara. The pizzeria closed down twice in the past year because of rodents, according to the Post.

“Di Fara is THE best pizza place in New York City. It MUST be saved. I’m ready to do anything I can to get them reopened — as are thousands of New York City pizza-lovers,” wrote New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Twitter. “My team and I are looking into how we can help resolve this situation.”

“DiFara’s was a true rarity: A pizza place that actually lived up to the hype. I’ll miss watching that hunched over old man pouring a ton of olive oil from his tin can onto the dough,” tweeted writer Jimmy Traina.

“DiFara’s doesn’t need public or mayoral support. They just need to pay taxes and keep their kitchen clean,” tweeted @skylerdobin.

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