is back open this evening after being seized and shuttered by the New Jersey Division of Taxation yesterday afternoon. Bright orange signs covered the windows today warding off any individuals –including owners- that entry into the building would be severely punished by law.
The Sun Tavern is owned by the Fanwood Ale House Corporation and is managed by Lillian Duda. Duda is the widow of Kenneth Duda, whose name appears as the owner on the orange signs that were taped to every window today.
Bill Quinn, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Department of Treasury stated that the Fanwood Police carried out of a warrant of execution to seize and shutter the facility after Fanwood Ale House, the corporation who owns the Fanwood restaurant, failed to pay corporate and business sales tax.
“The first judgment was issued in 2007 for the amount of $261,383 and the second judgment was issued in $2010 for an additional amount of $96,242,” Quinn said. “As of yesterday, the business had yet to complete those payments so the business seized.”
Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo could not comment on the investigation this afternoon; however he did confirm that Police had been on hand to assist with the execution of the warrant.
Patch reached out to Kristie Mccrone, Kenneth Duda’s daughter and the new owner of the Roselle Park Sun Tavern. Mccrone, who took over the branch in March, stated that the Roselle Park restaurant has been unaffiliated with the Fanwood location since November.
“The signs should read ‘owned by the estate of Kenneth Duda’ and I will be speaking to the Department of Taxation about that,” Mccrone said. “My father has been deceased for six years. I have nothing to say about the business being shut down.”
Late Thursday afternoon, Quinn stated that it was possible for the Sun Tavern to open within a few days and that the corporation was actively working with the Division of Taxation to settle the debt. However, by 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Chief Richard Trigo reported that employees were back at work and customers were pulling into the parking lot.
After the restaurant had reopened Thursday evening, Patch spoke with General Manager, Anthony Lospinoso who was encouarged that the Tavern is "making a comeback." He emphasized that the restaurant did not close due to any health code violations, in fact, the pizzeria had to pass a new health inspection in order to reopen today.
"We apologize to our patrons, we were going down a bad path for a while but in recent months we have been heading in the right direction," Lospinosa said. "The tax issue is a mistep on our part but we turned this closing around pretty quick. That's what we do here. We want to continue being the champions of Scotch Plains and Fanwood."