BOISE, Idaho — A longtime Boise restaurant is now shut down.
Rockies Diner on Overland Road has been around for more than 30 years. It’s well-known for its 50s theme, oldies music and DJ, and the waitresses serving on roller skates.
Now, customers stopping by are met with a locked door and a seizure notice from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.
On Wednesday, the diner was shut down by the Idaho Department of Labor.
According to court documents obtained by KTVB, it’s because of missed tax payments by the owner, dating back several years.
The documents show that in December 2017, a complaint was filed by the state claiming that Rockies had failed to pay quarterly unemployment taxes from the years 2010 through 2017.
The complaint reads, in part, “Defendant is a covered employer and is required to make contributions on taxable wages to the Employment Security Fund. Contributions on taxable wages are to be reported and paid each calendar quarter, in accordance with Idaho Code 72-1349.”
It goes on to state, “The defendant failed to pay in full its quarterly contributions on taxable wages paid to employees.”
The complaint also continued that the diner hadn’t filed tax reports from 2009 to 2011.
The diner owed the state about $30,000 in missed payments, plus approximately another $30,000 from added penalty fees and interest fees on missed payments.
In total, Rockies owed the state more than $60,331.23.
In April of 2018, the state filed a decree and injunction against the diner, in which a judge ordered Rockies to start making weekly payments of $750 for 65 weeks.
The diner did start making payments, but missed eight of them. And after September 2018, it once again stopped paying altogether.
Before payments stopped, Rockies had paid back about $14,000.
On January 7, 2019, having received no further payments from the diner since 2018, the state requested a cease-and-desist operations order, which was granted. The Ada County sheriff was then ordered to shut down the business.
The order, signed by Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, reads in full, “In the name of the State of Idaho, you are commanded to cause the Defendant to discontinue all business operations at its 3900 Overland Road location in Boise. Defendant and all agents, employees, and patrons are to be removed from the premises, and the Plaintiff is to have exclusive access of the same. In the event any goods and chattels are not promptly stored or removed thereafter by the Defendant, you are authorized and empowered to cause the goods and chattels to be removed to a safe place for storage. You are also commanded to execute against any and all cash or proceeds of sales located on the premises and pay the costs and disbursements aforesaid and all accruing costs and to make legal service and due return of this writ.”
As of January 18, 2019, court records show Rockies still owes the DOL $47,428.22.
Until that amount is paid, the business will be shut down.
Ingram said he was not allowed to comment on specifics of the case. But he did say that if Rockies pays that amount and gets caught back up, the diner could be allowed to open back up for business.
Ingram said that closing down a business is a very last resort for the DOL, so cases like this are pretty rare.
“Our employer community is great – really great, but every once in a while we have tough situations like this happen,” Ingram said.
KTVB reached out to the owner of Rockies Diner for comment but did not receive a call back.