Popular restaurant to go on auction block

Nakisaki Restaurant of Hempstead received a last-minute reprieve

Nakisaki Restaurant of Hempstead received a last-minute reprieve Wednesday morning when it received a court-ordered temporary stay halting an auction of the restaurant's assets. (Aug. 3, 2012) (Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

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The Nakisaki Restaurant in Hempstead Village is slated to be up for auction next week after state officials seized the popular eatery this month for nonpayment of state taxes.

The Jamaican-Chinese restaurant -- listed under Nakyudeb Corp. -- is scheduled to be auctioned on Wednesday at 10 a.m., officials from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said. The auction will take place at the Fulton Avenue restaurant.

"Once the assets are sold, the NYS Tax Department will send the owner an accounting of the disbursement of sale proceeds," tax department spokeswoman Cary B. Ziter said in an email. "If the proceeds from the auction exceed the tax debt and the department's expenses, the surplus will be returned to the owners of Nakisaki Restaurant."

The restaurant, a staple of downtown Hempstead for 22 years, was seized by the tax department on Aug. 1 for $103,413 in unpaid taxes. The restaurant had five warrants totaling $30,570 related to withholding tax and five other warrants totaling $72,843 related to sales tax -- all issued between March 2011 and this June, tax officials said.

Dorothy Lyn, office manager of the family-owned restaurant, said they had paid $30,000 since April and had planned to retain a tax attorney to fight the confiscation of their property, but their bank account was also seized.

"We are trying to see if we can work with the tax department and meet their demands, but they set the bar so high," said Lyn, 72, who hopes an attorney or potential investors come forward to help save the restaurant. "They cleaned our bank account, and they closed the restaurant. They left us stranded. We are not in operation, so we have no income."

Before the auction, the property may be released and returned to the owners if they fully pay the tax, penalty, interest owed, and the expenses the tax department incurred in the seizure and the preparation for the sale, according to the tax department's general guidelines.

"I never have known the government to be so hungry to put a business up for auction like that," said Doug Mayers, president of the Long Island Caribbean American Association. "How do they expect minority-owned businesses to thrive?"

Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said, "I hope someone would come out and rescue them so they can come back."

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