UPDATED — Thanks to an accommodating landlord, Clear Lakes Cafe is back open.
The state seized and closed Paul Fleming’s restaurant on 21st Street just west of Amidon on Thursday afternoon for nonpayment of more than $28,000 in delinquent taxes.
Fleming’s landlord stepped in to pay those taxes today.
“That’s right,” Fleming says. “That’s what happened.”
It’s not clear if the landlord paid simply to keep a restaurant at his development or if it’s because he has equipment in the building that the state would have sold at public auction to cover the taxes.
“I have no idea,” Fleming says.
He says the 2-year-old restaurant had a tough winter.
“I mean a bad winter,” Fleming says. He says that’s what led to him getting behind on taxes.
In an e-mailed statement, Kansas Department of Revenue spokeswoman Freda Warfield said: "Only after several unsuccessful attempts does the Department take this type of aggressive warrant execution action of seizing assets, which in this instance resulted in the business being closed.”
Fleming says it was just “a little misunderstanding with the state.”
He says he changed residences and that could have led to missed letters.
“I called them, and they said I didn’t, and blah, blah, blah,” Fleming says.
“I tried to call them several times, and they never answered,” he says. “I don’t really know what happened on that end.”