(The Daily Advertiser) – A beloved plate lunch spot that recently faced legal troubles is closing.
Country Cuisine owed more than $120,000 in delinquent taxes, loans, interest, penalties and legal fees, according to court records.
Country Cuisine’s building and property at 709 N. University Ave. were recently seized and put up for sale by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office as part of a court order.
The restaurant’s owners were ordered to pay $72,096 in delinquent taxes, interest and penalties to the Lafayette Parish School System.
They were also ordered to pay an additional $48,736 to restaurant partner Charles A. Green for loans, interest and legal fees.
The Lafayette Parish School Board — which is responsible for collecting all local sales and use taxes in Lafayette Parish — filed suit against Country Cuisine for delinquent sales taxes assessed to the restaurant from December 2012 to July 2016.
Country Cuisine still owes sales and use taxes, according to Stacey Ashy, director of sales tax for LPSB.
“We are unable to disclose the amount collected,” Ashy wrote in an email to the Daily Advertiser.
A payment plan is in place for Country Cuisine to pay the delinquent taxes, interest and penalties.
It is common for businesses to be delinquent on sales and use taxes, according to Ashy, and it is not uncommon for the school system to sue a business to collect outstanding taxes.
Green, a partner in the restaurant, secured more than $85,000 in loans for Country Cuisine from 2011 to 2014, according to court records.
He also loaned more than $6,000 directly to Country Cuisine during that time.
When Country Cuisine defaulted on loans between 2014 and 2016, Green made more than $34,000 in payments for the company.
The court in January ordered the sheriff to seize and sell the property owned by Country Cuisine to pay the $48,736 owed to Green as the result of two lawsuits.
Country Cuisine owner Christopher Williams and Green’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment sent Thursday by phone and email.