Today, the Kansas Department of Revenue will begin overseeing removal of assets from Jefferson’s Restaurant, a once busy downtown establishment.
Remaining will be the hundreds of dollar bills that patrons pinned to the wall.
Unable to reach a payment agreement with the restaurant’s owner over unpaid taxes, the revenue department said Tuesday that Jefferson’s, 743 Mass., will not reopen and its assets would be sold at a public auction.
“We will leave things open as long as they are working with us, working to repay the debt,” department of revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said.
The restaurant, known for its monetary decor and fried food, opened in 2000 and was a popular spot for watching Kansas University basketball games.
On Feb. 8, the department of revenue and Alcoholic Beverage Control shut down the restaurant for failing to pay $46,848 in taxes.
At that time, owner Jason Franklin told the Journal-World that the closure involved a “misunderstanding” and that he hoped to reopen by last Friday.
The restaurant’s tax warrants date back to June 2009, when $39,648.98 was owed.
On Tuesday, Franklin said he couldn’t keep up with his taxes during the recession and fell behind. He had owned the restaurant for more than five years.
“I’m sorry. I wish I could stay open, wish things went better. Unfortunately, they did not,” Franklin said. “I appreciate all the support of all the loyal customers.”
The department of revenue has contracted with United Country Auction Services to handle the auction, which won’t be done at the restaurant. The company, which has an auction house in McPherson, said it is still working out the details of the auction.
As for the dollar bills still on Jefferson’s walls, Koranda said the money will stay. The property’s landlord has agreed to write a check in the amount of the dollar bills to keep them on the walls.