The Spicy’s Bar-B-Que restaurants on Wednesday announced that Spicy’s in Riverhead would be reopening Thursday, today, after both locations were seized by the Department of Taxation and Finance last month.
The news for the Bellport location isn’t as good for Spicy’s lovers on the South Shore.
“Unfortunately, our Bellport location will not be re-opening,” another Facebook post read.
But it isn’t entirely clear if the post means the Bellport Spicy’s would not be opening soon, like in Riverhead — or if it would never open again.
The ownership at Spicy’s was unable to be reached for comment.
The news wasn’t greeted well by Bellporters.
“This is a sad ending to a great place. Rumpy, open your own place!” wrote David Schultzer.
“That’s so messed up,” wrote Jamasia Ayers. “What about Bellport? We don’t have nothing out here as it is …”
The first Spicy’s opened in Riverhead 38 years ago and the Bellport location a year later, ownership previously told GreaterPatchogue.
Scroll down for our original report. Check back for any updates.
Original Report (April 25): Less than 24 hours since the state seized the Spicy’s Bar-B-Que locations in Bellport and Riverhead over outstanding tax warrants, ownership is vowing to reopen.
“We’re not planning on shutting down; that’s for damn sure,” said a member of the Stoner family, which has owned the popular Spicy’s fried chicken locations in Riverhead and Bellport for nearly 40 years.
The family member requested his name not be used due to the sensitivity of the negotiations with the state.
“This is something we’re working on,” he told GreaterPatchogue Wednesday. “It’s been going back and forth for six months and we’re needing to provide documents that you can’t just pull up online. It takes time.”
He described the state closing both restaurants as a way of applying pressure for the company to speed things up.
Spicy’s also took to Facebook Tuesday morning to assure its legions of fried chicken fans — who travel from across the island for Spicy’s signature taste — that they’re opening “shortly.’
(Scroll down for the full post.)
Meanwhile, James Gazzale of the state Department of Taxation and Finance told the Riverhead News-Review that Spicy’s Chicken Restaurant, Corp., “still has three outstanding warrants for non-payment of taxes, including two issued earlier this month.”
The paper further reported, citing records, the three recent warrants — the first of which was issued last November — total more than $450,000.
Spicy’s ownership is taking issue with differing dollar amounts being reported, saying the actual number is what’s been up for debate between the company and the state.
The first Spicy’s opened in Riverhead 38 years ago and the Bellport location a year later.
Near Spicy’s in Bellport Tuesday morning, before ownership’s vow to re-open, Frito-Lay driver Jeff Paranzino said he “hadn’t known anything about it.”
“I’m gonna miss it because I love Spicy’s, but you gotta pay your taxes,” he said. “My kids go there a lot and bring the stuff home. And I hear about it a lot because I’m in this area all the time. And it’s a cool area to lose something like that.”