Skillet, Portage Bay, Bad Albert's Among Restaurants Being Sued by State for Back Taxes

Over at the Daily Weekly, Laura Onstot reports that several beloved area restaurants, including Bad Albert's, Skillet Street Food, Bluwater Bistro, Taqueria Jalisco, and the Portage Bay Cafe's South Lake Union location, are being sued by the state in an attempt to collect tens of thousands of dollars apiece in back taxes, with the biggest tab--$255,207--belonging to former Triangle Lounge and Coupage owner Tom Hurley.

But don't expect any Perry Mason-esque trials, with cooks being led into court with shackled aprons, to start anytime soon.

The restaurant biz is tough. Really tough. Toss in a deep recession, and it gets really, really tough; scrambling to meet payroll is an everyday reality in even the best of times. Bad Albert's owner Steve Katsandres, whose award-winning Dock Street Burger is available at Leny's and who has a stake in Macky's Dim Sum in Issaquah, articulates this rather succinctly in Onstot's piece.

"Last year was shitty and this year doesn't look much better," says Katsandres, one of the first restaurateurs to put down roots on Ballard Avenue at the dawn of the street's renaissance.

Katsandres says he's worked out a payment plan with the State Department of Revenue, a common ploy that should keep him mingling with customers and out of the courtroom. Hopefully his partners in debt are making similar arrangements.

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