State seizes Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza over unpaid taxes

State seizes Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza over unpaid taxes
File photo by Colin Mixson

State tax collectors seized the iconic Midwood pizzeria Di Fara on Tuesday for failing to pay taxes, according to a spokesman from the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance.

The spokesman said the eatery owes the state a whopping $167,506, which, at $30 for a medium pie without toppings, means Di Fara would have to sell 5,583 pies to settle its debt with the state.

Domenico DeMarco, owner of the 54-year-old Italian establishment — located on the corner of Avenue J and E. 15th Street — may be able to regain ownership of the restaurant if he reaches a mutually agreeable solution with the state’s tax department before the building is sold, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance.

This wouldn’t be the first time Di Fara has been shuttered by the government, but those closures usually come at the hands of city health inspectors. In May, the eatery temporarily closed after the Department of Health found evidence of mice and poor hygiene among workers, according to an Eater report. City health inspectors also shut down the pizzeria in 2018, 2011, and 2007, but DeMarco said he treated the closures as a vacation.

“The only time I get to relax is when they close us,” DeMarco said after Di Fara was shut down in 2011 for numerous health code violations, including mouse droppings “throughout the kitchen.”

Di Fara has a Williamsburg location on N. Third Street, but a call there was not answered.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams