Di Fara Pizza Has Been Seized by New York State for Failure to Pay Taxes

According to local reports, the iconic pizza shop was shut down Tuesday afternoon.
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
August 20, 2019, 7:28pm
Di Fara Pizza Has Been Seized by New York State for Failure to Pay Taxes
Screenshot via VICE Video

The Brooklyn pizza joint Di Fara has been called some of the city's best pizza by such publications as Epicurious, Bon Appetit, the New Yorker, and this very website, dubbed worth the trip to the neighborhood of Midwood and the long wait once you've arrived. It's run by local legend Dom DeMarco, who continues to make the pies by hand though he's well into his 80s.

Anyone who made that journey earlier today, however, might have been greeted with an unhappy surprise: a metal gate with an orange notice of seizure by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, according to panicked tweets from earlier this afternoon. One Twitter user had driven an hour and a half to Di Fara, only to see the notice on the door. Information about the tax evasion declaration was corroborated in a later tweet by ABC7 news editor Morena Basteiro, who added that the pizzeria had been "seized by the state after not paying taxes."

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It's not the first time government forces have closed Di Fara unexpectedly. The pizza shop closed briefly following a failed health inspection this past May, Patch reported, but its problems with the Department of Health go back much further. Improper cold storage and proof of live mice prompted its temporary closure in April 2018, according to NBC4, while the shop was closed twice due to "uncleanliness," between 2007 and 2011, per Brooklyn Paper.

A phone call from VICE to Di Fara's Midwood location was unanswered, and an employee at the Williamsburg location was unable to provide comment.

While it's not yet clear what will happen with Di Fara—when and if it will reopen—it's clear that people in search of a true New York slice will have to go elsewhere for now.

UPDATE 8/22/19: A day after its notice of seizure, Di Fara Pizza has received its keys and reopened, per an Instagram post from the shop. Margaret De Marco-Mieles, daughter of owner Dom De Marco, told Bklyner that the pizza shop owed approximately $167,500 in unpaid taxes, which the state wanted to be rectified in a lump-sum payment.