State seizes Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza over unpaid taxes

Closed: Di Fara’s owner, Dom DeMarco, and his daughter, Margy, are keeping the gate closed to their famous Midwood pizza eatery, after the state shuttered the restaurant for failing to pay taxes.
Brooklyn Paper
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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 or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Updated 5:00 pm, August 20, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Oh No, say it isn't so.
Aug. 20, 4:04 pm
Don from Sheepshead Bay says:
Between the photo, the comments about the health closures, and now cheating the state of taxes they come off as glib and obnoxious. Let them stay closed with their overpriced overrated pies.
Aug. 20, 4:20 pm
Hiho says:
They frequently close fir private parties. Hard for locals to get slices. I wind up going to the Kosher pizza places on ave j.
Aug. 20, 5:25 pm
AlmadeCubano from da slope says:
What's the point of running a cash business if you can't pretend to be in the 1% and divert some public funds to your own projects?
Aug. 20, 6:28 pm
Frank from Furter says:
Trump said it was ok not to pay taxes. They are just agreeing with him.
Aug. 20, 6:31 pm
Somebody from Somewhere says:
Welp, another 1 bites the dust!!!
Aug. 20, 6:49 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
I have an ever stronger feeling,that much of NYC,is headed back to the BAD old 1980s. Back then,Wall Street,and many illicit businesses,did just fine. Sex industries,narcotics,etc., But,in the cases of small businesses,if the owners weren't often robbed by criminals;they were ruined by regressive taxes-such as the"Commercial-Rent Tax". Or constantly fine,by our city's bureaucracy,for the slightest infractions. And while the revival begun by then Mayor Koch in 1978,continued in parts of Manhattan,much of the city's outer borough neighborhoods;by 1989-totally returned to the same shambles,they were 1977. My neighborhood in northeastern Queens,was definitely,one of them.
Aug. 20, 7:06 pm
Zaxby says:
I feel bad for anyone that takes photos for the Brooklyn Paper. They always have the subject subjected to their issues with a sad face.
Aug. 20, 8:05 pm
Mike limo from Former resident says:
I know dom and ate there all my life and things were fine before the invasion of the hipsters and their stupidity . Doms product was both inovative and delicious but the fame destroyed the business just like thousands of others throughout the city. They can take their cronuts and hipster bearded artists and 6 dollar cups of coffeeand leave us and whatever is left for the true native new Yorkers
Aug. 20, 10:32 pm
Mulan from Sunset Park says:
Why don't they sell the mice and roaches to pay the back taxes?
Aug. 21, 4:16 am
Somebody from Somewhere says:
That pic of them is a funny reminder of where their azzes might go if they keep skipping out on their taxes.
Aug. 21, 5:03 am
Somebody from Somewhere says: personally i hope it does starts to slide back to the 80s & 90s. At least life was somewhat less stressful to an extent. Yeah, it was pretty bad but at the same time, things were more close knit.
Aug. 21, 5:06 am
Joe from Bensonhurst says:
Cash business selling $5 slices that probably cost them 25c and they can't pay taxes or even keep the vermin out ? I feel so bad that the cash flow has been cut off. Maybe they should go on vacation.
Aug. 21, 7:22 am
Fung Ho Woo from Chinatown says:
It’s not such a big deal - there’s a Little Caesar’s pizza that delivers!
Aug. 21, 7:29 am
Frank from Bushwick says:
They should get the cash from under the mattress and pay the tax.
Aug. 21, 9:22 am
Somebody from Somewhere says:
$30 for a whole pie? I can go to 2 bros & get me 3 pies & 6 slices for that price.
Aug. 21, 9:49 am
Somebody from Somewhere says:
Fung ho woo.. I love that deep dish pep at LC. I get it all the time. Besides, we're basically in a recession so what sensible person is gonna spend $30 a damn pizza pie?
Aug. 21, 10 am
aging hipster from Midwood Park says:
Mike, what hipsters? I feel like I am in exile.
Aug. 21, 11:46 am
Freesia from Park Slope says:
Eww - pizza has carbs! And gluten! It’s basically poison!! 🍕 ☠️
Aug. 21, 11:46 am
Mustache Pete from Windsor Terrace says:
This may be in every way the best slice in NYC, but I would not know. When I last worked in Midwood, they were out of slices by 7pm on weeknights 5 different times. Then they got a C health rating. Standing in line for this is not how I choose to spend my life. I wish the De Marco family well, but I view this pragmatically: they may have a great product. But being "old-fashioned" and not absorbing the basics of running a business in 2019 is self-destructive. Blame NY State all you want, but any dolt can file an online tax payment the morning of the day it's due
Aug. 21, 1:35 pm
Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn says:
This pizza is so succulent and moist! I love to slowly lick off the cheese, then nibble the crust slowly to make it last longer.
Aug. 22, 1:07 am
Tyler from pps says:
Sounds like they deserve to be closed.
Aug. 22, 8:57 am

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