Tue. Sep 26th, 2023


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Chocolate Lab in Denver closed due to unpaid taxes

2 min read

Chocolate Lab’s closure last month was a result of unpaid taxes, according to a notice hanging on its door as of this week.

Owner Phil Simonson, who declined to comment, previously pointed to “employment issues and increased costs of operating,” according to his response to a customer’s Google review last month.

But a notice on the restaurant doors reads: “This personal property is in possession of the Manager of Finance, Ex-Officio, Treasurer, City and County of Denver, State of Colorado, by virtue of distraint warrant issued for the collection of unpaid taxes.”

A distraint warrant is a document served by the sheriff that indicates the amount of overdue taxes, the due date, and instructions regarding the removal or destruction of any property within the business. And if taxes go unpaid, the property is usually seized, advertised and sold for the amount of taxes due. Josh Rosenblum with the city’s Department of Finance said they’re usually a last resort.

“Before we issue them, we do everything we possibly can to ensure businesses can keep going without such a warrant including reaching out by phone, mail, email and in person and in most instances we’re willing to discuss any issues folks have as well in person, over the phone, or virtually,” Rosenblum said. “We want Denver’s businesses to succeed and that means offering the best customer service we can to them.”

Chocolate Lab reopened in its larger Hilltop space at 5575 E. 3rd Ave. in February. It was Denver’s only chocolate-centric restaurant with dishes like shrimp with milk chocolate chestnut risotto or impossible meatloaf with chocolate mushroom gravy. Simonson started the business in 2010.

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