Archive for Monday, August 2, 2010

Wheat State Pizza reopens under new ownership after property seized

The manager of Wheat State Pizza bought the Lawrence, Baldwin City and Emporia restaurants, which were closed earlier today because of unpaid taxes.

August 2, 2010, 12:23 p.m. Updated August 2, 2010, 9:05 p.m.


Three Wheat State Pizza locations in Kansas were reopened under new ownership Monday after the Kansas Department of Revenue seized the properties for failure to pay taxes.

“Wheat State Pizza is open for business,” said new owner Brad Remington. Remington purchased the pizza chain’s Baldwin City and Emporia locations, and the Lawrence store at 23rd and Louisiana streets.

According to a Department of Revenue statement, Ryan Murphy, the stores’ previous owner, owed $233,713 in state sales tax and withholding tax. Tax agents seized Murphy’s business and personal assets and posted “seized” and “closed” signs on the Lawrence store’s entrance at 10 a.m. Monday.

“We don’t want to close businesses,” said revenue spokeswoman Freda Warfield. She said seizures are used as the department’s last resort, and the agency “had to look out for the best interest for the state of Kansas.”

“In this situation you look at the sales tax alone and that’s a lot of money,” Warfield said.

Remington purchased the three properties from Baldwin State Bank and returned to Lawrence on Monday evening to reopen the restaurant.

“Our previous owner had some issues with the state; those have thus been taken care of,” he said.

The Baldwin City location was also reopened Monday and the Emporia location will open Tuesday. Remington said all three properties will remain Wheat State Pizza locations and the business is “as good as usual.”


Michael Stanclift 7 years, 9 months ago

Seems to be something common among Lawrence pizzerias.

pizzapete 7 years, 9 months ago

I was thinking the same, what's up with that?

SeaFox 7 years, 9 months ago

Apparently local owners don't want to give the state its cut of the pie.


;__; ...I'll show myself out now.

Marcus DeMond 7 years, 9 months ago

I just picked up a couple pizzas there last night. I hope they get this resolved. My family loves their pizza!

schula 7 years, 9 months ago

This is my favorite pizzza place in Lawrence!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, well not for long. In this town, "new owner" means about to be driven out of business. Nothing ever survives the "new owner" in this town.

Jeff Cuttell 7 years, 9 months ago

Culver's has. They are 100 times better now and keep getting busier. This "new owner" was already part of the company. Not really "new". He was the manager.

somedude20 7 years, 9 months ago

What is it with pizza joints in this town not paying their taxes? I enjoy their pizzas as well although sometimes they over do it on the sauce

collared_greens 7 years, 9 months ago

Did the Kansas Department of Revenue just walk around that strip mall or what?

ivalueamerica 7 years, 9 months ago

Bring back the original Campus Hide-a-Way.

Hoots 7 years, 9 months ago

Can't believe anyone remembers that place. Yes, that was some amazing pizza.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 9 months ago

I started there washing dishes in 1980. I still have some of the old pizza pans i got from Jean Durham when he sold the place. The morons that took it over ran it down quick, then it became 2 different dopey hamburger joints, one that offered a crazy 5lb burger. I also remember a small bar owned by a group of African exchange students as well as the gay bar that was there. The map company.....I lost track after that and I am most probably missing some things in between.

MeAndFannieLou 7 years, 9 months ago

Hey! I waited tables there in 1980! Now I have to try to figure out who you are....

(and not to pick nits, but it was Gene, as in O. Eugene Durham - Campus Hideaway trivia time: What did the O. stand for?)

John Spencer 7 years, 9 months ago

I think the best delivery pizza in town was from Pizza Co.

Bob Hiller 7 years, 9 months ago

Great idea. I remember the Campus Hide Away from long ago; great place !!

Ira Rott 7 years, 9 months ago

Darn, I thought about getting some of their pizza over the weekend, guess I should have.

woodscolt 7 years, 9 months ago

you can go to Rudy's, they were the model for these guys anyway, except Rudy's is always on the up and up. Best Pizza n Lawrence anyway.

Jaminrawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. Rudy's by far exceeds the rest.

RogueThrill 7 years, 9 months ago

Rudy's is pretty much the most bland pizza in town.

somedude20 7 years, 9 months ago

WS seemed like they made a killing. I mean who do they have to compete with, Pizza Hut (gag), Popa Johns (vomit), Dominos (foot cheese), Papa Murphys (no way am I paying full price, picking it up and then cooking it) Papa K's use to be good when he has employees that care about the product (which is less and less these days). Rudys is really good as is Pyramid

whats_going_on 7 years, 9 months ago

Pyramid is only good when you're drunk. :(

Wheat State better open again soon, I freaking love that pizza.

jehovah_bob 7 years, 9 months ago

Gumby's is only good when you're high. Wait, is Gumby's even around anymore?

somedude20 7 years, 9 months ago

Pyramid has a tasty crust and is loaded with stuff now Pizza Shuttle is the stuff that needs to be eaten while drunk. That "pizza" tastes like cardboard and is still somehow loaded with grease.

jonas_opines 7 years, 9 months ago

Why would you get the pizza from Pizza Shuttle? You can order 2 things of cheesesticks for delivery with no pizza at all, and their cheesesticks are awesome.

Gambino's at 23rd and Kasold is pretty tasty.

SeaFox 7 years, 9 months ago

No they aint. They aren't bad, but they're hella expensive for the quality of the pizza. I got a Mobster there once to try them out. Good pizza but I could have gotten more for my money and just as good if not better at Rudy's or Pizza Shuttle.

timetospeakup 7 years, 9 months ago

Pepperoni and cream cheese from pizza shuttle is quite good. I agree though, without the cream cheese it's awful.

WID 7 years, 9 months ago

how many employees just got screwed?

Mary Sucha 7 years, 9 months ago

The business is on the hook for the withholding, not the employee.

LogicMan 7 years, 9 months ago

What other companies are currently on the Douglas County "tax-deadbeats" list of the State's?

parrothead8 7 years, 9 months ago

Cripes, Java Break owes almost $170k in unpaid sales taxes and almost $24k in unpaid withholding taxes. I love that place, but I'm not sure I can continue to support a business that doesn't pay its taxes when I go without to pay mine.

If all the unpaid sales and withholding taxes on that site were added up and paid in full, I bet the state wouldn't be running a deficit.

LogicMan 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, another LJW story on them would be timely.

SeaFox 7 years, 9 months ago

Aces and Eights Clothing is on that list. A business that has been closed for like five years now at least. Also saw the Creation Station.

vuduchyld 7 years, 9 months ago

According to their facebook page, Wheat State had a change of ownership...looks like May 29th. They give the name of the owner.

formerlyanonymous 7 years, 9 months ago

KRichards, thanks for the post.

Bummer about Wheat State. I also thought that they were doing well, especially since there's fair room for profit in the pizza business if you have a steady stream of customers.

greenworld 7 years, 9 months ago

As far as I know business is back up and running as of 500pm today.

Cooky_the_Cook 7 years, 9 months ago

Rudy's is gross, and pretending to like their pizza does not make you hip. I'm glad they pay their taxes, though.

RogueThrill 7 years, 9 months ago

Great pizza but if you charge sales tax and then don't pay you get what you pay for. Scum bags.

straightforward 7 years, 9 months ago

Wheat State is excellent pizza but you pay for it. It's a little pricey. What happened to all the other locations? Isn't WS in about 10-15 towns?

evilpenguin 7 years, 9 months ago

I've never found it to be pricey. We printed a coupon from LJ World where you get a large one topping pizza for $9.99. For the delicious pizza, that's a pretty good price! Not only that, but they are part of the Lawrence Give Back Scheme so every time we go, we use the give back card and support local charities. How can anyone go wrong?!

Steve Williams 7 years, 9 months ago

  1. Yes Lawrence Wheat State will continue to operate, with little to no job losses
  2. Sometimes, in business, you can overexert yourself, add a little recession, and suddenly keeping up is difficult
  3. Rudy's is in no way the model for WSP.
  4. THe Overland Park and the downtown KCK Wheat States both closed their doors but will be opening a new location, 47th and mission rd.. just east of the oklahoma joes in the gas station, the store is slated to open one week from today, it will serve KUMED, westport, fairway, KCK, parts of johnson county and parts of midtown KCMO!

slowplay 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure that both his bank and lawyer have advised him accordingly. Having a viable business in the community is the top priority. The new owner most likely purchased the old equipment from the state at a discounted price which minimizes the risk to the bank.

greenworld 7 years, 9 months ago

Wheat State has gained a few lost a few. Losses occured in Gardner, OP, Paola and Shawnee. But there is still locations in Lawrence, Baldwin, Emporia, Overbrook, Pittsburg, Kck, Olathe and Springfield Mo,

Charlie Sabotage 7 years, 9 months ago

His last name was Murphy. You just can't have two Murphy's in the pizza biz. Papa Murphy's for the win. except in quality ans taste and preparedness

password 7 years, 9 months ago

i agree that the pizza is crappy. only had it once and it was so bad that i will never buy it again.

Adam P Atterson 7 years, 9 months ago

Glory Days is the best pizza in town, nothing else comes even close.

farmgal 7 years, 9 months ago

they used to have excellent pizza. then they started cheapening the ingredients & the crust went down hill. then they stopped selling beer at the lawrence one over a year ago. we used to eat there often, but the quality got so bad, we gave up on them.

LogicMan 7 years, 9 months ago

"property seized"

Q: Can the State, etc. come seize your car, flower pots, lawn mower, etc. from outside where you live if you owe taxes like this?

staff04 7 years, 9 months ago

My understanding is that the state may, with appropriate court action, seize these things within limit. I pretty certain that the state cannot take certain things like your primary residence or vehicle but may take a whole host of other stuff from you.

Mary Sucha 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes they can, once a tax lien is filed. If the residence has enough equity, it can be seized. Cars, paintings, bank accounts, etc.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

The IRS is the only group that I know of that can seize assets, and then make the owner prove they were legal.

It seems like a blatant violation of our system, which generally requires due process (ie. they prove you have stolen goods) before seizure.

lucy1 7 years, 9 months ago

Keep in mind that the state does no calculate the tax owed. Many times they will assume an amount based on the type of business. For small retail food service the amount is usually $3,333.33. After that you have to fight to have the bill reduced to the correct amount.

Mary Sucha 7 years, 9 months ago

Only after the business has been given many opportunities to file the required tax forms and pay the tax.

lithium45 7 years, 9 months ago

Glad Wheat State is staying open. Love the pizza. Congrats to Brad as the new owner.

julz 7 years, 9 months ago

Bring back the Lawrence Pizza Company!

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