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Belmont diner seized by state

Posted by Sara Brown  July 2, 2010 02:42 PM

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 A popular Belmont restaurant has been seized by the state Department of Revenue for failure to pay taxes.

The department seized Andros Diner, a long-time establishment on Trapelo Road, for failure to pay $88,000 in back meals and withholding taxes, said Bob Bliss, spokesperson for the Department of Revenue.  He said the earliest assessment period went back to November 2006.

According to state records, John and Annette Manetas purchased the property in 1974.  They owned and operated the diner, which served Greek-American fare.

This January, a Boston Globe article described the restaurant’s avgolemono, or Greek egg lemon soup.

The Manetas could not be reached for comment.

Bliss said seizure of property is the “the end of the line in terms of the collection process.”  He said the department had been trying to get the taxpayer’s attention and hadn’t been successful. 

So as of Wednesday, June 30, the diner’s front door had a large orange sign declaring that the property had been seized.  Bliss said the locks have been changed. 

“The hope here is that this will prompt the taxpayer to come forward,” he said, “and make a substantial down payment and enter into a payment plan so the business can reopen." 

If this does not happen within the next few weeks, he said, the state would auction off the contents of the restaurant, from plates and dishes to broilers. 

“That’s not what we want to do,” Bliss said.  He said he hoped payments would be made and the owners would get back the keys to the business, reopen, and get back to work. 

The state seizes about 75 to 80 businesses a year, Bliss said.  “It’s not a frequent occurrence when you think of the thousands and thousands of businesses in Massachusetts,” he added.  

On Thursday, the seizure sign stopped Lucy Minas, 30, in her tracks as she approached the diner.  The Watertown resident said she was in the neighborhood and remembered that the diner had good salads. 

“That’s sad,” she said, looking at the building.  “It seems like they’ve been around a long time.”  

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