The food fight is over!
Midwood’s iconic pizzeria Di Fara reopened Thursday after reaching an agreement with the state to settle its sizable tax debt, the Mayor’s office confirmed.
“Just got the keys back ! Thank you New York!” the pizzeria said in an Instagram post Thursday afternoon.
The state’s Department of Taxation and Finance seized the revered pizza shop Tuesday for failing to pay $167,506 in taxes, causing an uproar among pizza aficionados, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who tweeted that he would “do anything” to reopen the 54-year-old pizza joint.
“Di Fara is THE best pizza place in New York City,” de Blasio said in a Tuesday morning tweet. “It MUST be saved. I’m ready to do anything I can to get them reopened — as are thousands of New York City pizza-lovers.”
New Yorkers quickly accused the Mayor of misusing his resources and having misaligned priorities — even Gov. Andrew Cuomo chimed in.
“He has no legal authority to forgive state taxes,” Cuomo said during a tour of the New York State Fair in Syracuse. “Now, if he wants to pay the $200,000 on behalf of the pizza place, he can do that. That’s fine. And if he wants to get $200,000 worth of pizza, that’s his business. But he can’t forgive state taxes.”
State Sen. Andrew Gounrdes (D–Bay Ridge) also criticized de Blasio for his debt forgiveness efforts.
“I like Di Fara’s too, but I dunno, maybe they can pay their taxes?” he tweeted. “The notion that we’re gonna pull out all the stops to help a business that owes > $160K in taxes when there are more pressing issues and many people who need real help is kinda absurd.”
The Mayor’s office claims that it had nothing to do with the reopening, but will be in touch with Margaret Mieles, the daugther of the pizzeria’s owner, should anything go awry.
“She’s in touch with our Emergency Response Team over at Small Business Services and will let us know if she needs anything,” said Freddi Goldstein, the Mayor’s press secretary.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.