The still mysterious saga of Farina (3560 18th Street), which has sat dark for the better part of two months with ominous postings from debt collectors on its front door, has a new twist that should for all intents and purposes be the final nail in the coffin for the restaurant. As Mission Local is reporting, the restaurant's liquor license was seized by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and sold at auction in the last two days. It sold for $275,000, with a starting minimum bid of $225,000, and the purchaser is not yet known.
The ABC tells Mission Local that the money will be used to cover back taxes and penalties owed to the state by the restaurant's owner. The new owner of the much coveted license is now free to transfer it to another location within the city.
A quick look at the liquor license record itself reveals that it had a Board of Equalization hold on it in November 2014, and a Franchise Tax Board hold on it in April 2015.
After closing abruptly sometime in May, notices began appearing on the door of Farina from the landlord saying that the restaurant owed $11,100 in rent for the month of June, and another $5,491 in unpaid water and garbage fees, as Eater reported last month.
Mission Local spoke to an employee at spinoff restaurant Farina Pizza down the block who claimed that Farina had closed due to a leak, and that it would reopen. When pressed about the unpaid tax bills, the employee referred Mission Local to the email on the restaurant's website and said that the two restaurants were now under different management.
As we noted earlier, the restaurant had shifted ownership to a new LLC over a year ago. It remains unclear if original owner Luca Minna remains involved in the business, though his name remains on the liquor license that's now been revoked.
Interestingly, though, the landlord, Ted Plant of the Edward Plant Company, tells Mission Local that the restaurant has not told him that they intend to close.
Previously: Is Farina Finally Closed?