photo courtesy of Bolsa

When Smoke’s Plano location closed in August 2017, it owed $150,644.50 to the Internal Revenue Service, according to reporting this week from the Dallas Observer.

The owners of Bolsa, Chicken Scratch, The Foundry and Smoke, which closed its original location at the Belmont Hotel in December, are facing a federal tax lien and a number of lawsuits accusing them of owing back rent for now-closed The Theodore restaurant at NorthPark Center and Smoke Plano.

The owners are faced with “at least five ongoing lawsuits and unpaid tax bills from Dallas County, the state of Texas and the Internal Revenue Service,” the Observer reports.

“There’s money owed,” owner Chris Zielke told the weekly newspaper. “We took some big chances on big places. It’s going to be something that we’ll be paying off.”

Zielke says he and partners including Christopher Jeffers have gone without pay for several months at a time in order to make payroll for employees.

While the partners are staring down their legal and tax woes, they’re also working to improve Chicken Scratch and the Foundry. Zielke told the Observer they are pressuring their landlord to finish developing the property, which he says could happen very soon.