h+h bagels' two store locations, including the famed broadway and west 80th street shop, were shut down on may 29 because of a tax issue. earlier that morning, a red sign was placed on the front door of the broadway branch to inform customers about the closure of the city's most well known shop, where bagels cost $1.30 a piece.
police milled about the entrance, refusing to let customers inside, according to one witness. that branch has since reopened, but the other outpost, at 639 w. 46th st. and 12th avenue, was still shuttered as of friday afternoon.
the new york department of taxation and finance took the enforcement action against h+h bagels inc. because the company owed state taxes.
according to department spokesperson tom bergin, two tax warrants were filed for the bagel company's business name, first toro family limited partnership, which operates outside of the 2239 broadway location. the warrants were filed at the end of 2008 in new york county: one for failing to pay $6,803 in withholding tax-that is, the taxes taken out of employees' paychecks-and the other warrant for a failure to pay $16,482 in sales tax.
amy dukoff and helmer toro were the responsible names for that business. bergin said that the state tax and finance department tried to resolve the debt with the business.
"we were unable to do so, so we seized the business," bergin said. "the owner, or responsible person, paid the liability in full so we allowed them to reopen."
the company has yet to repay taxes owed by the 639 w. 46th street location, which is the location for two businesses: sixth toro family limited partnership and a manufacturing outfit called united production service inc. three warrants were filed against sixth toro family limited partnership: two in november 2008 and one in may 2009. the warrants for failure to pay a withholding tax and a sales tax total $26,539.
united production service inc., the manufacturing arm of the company, has four warrants, all for failing to pay $57,392 in withholding tax. that has yet to be paid by toro.
"i can't pretend to know when the owner will pay up and get reopened," bergin said.
h+h bagels inc. did not return calls for an official response.