13 Investigates: Taste Bar and Kitchen now owes $206K in unpaid tax as footage of move-out emerges

Mycah Hatfield Image
Thursday, September 1, 2022
Midtown bar's tax liability grows to $206K as closure details emerge
EMBED <>More Videos

ABC13 is getting clarity over a popular Midtown restaurant's closure. It's part of a story that 13 Investigates has brought you in recent months.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Midtown restaurant known for its brunch is locked out of its facility for more than $200,000 in unpaid taxes to the state.

Taste Bar and Kitchen is co-owned by Chef Don Bowie, who also owns Rare Steakhouse on Washington Avenue.

The state comptroller's office seized the Midtown location on Tuesday and locked the owner out.

They told Eyewitness News he owes $139,700 in sales tax, $36,397 in mixed beverage sales tax, and $29,645 in mixed beverage gross receipts tax, which totals $206,024.

At last check with the comptroller's office, they said the taxpayer had not contacted them since the business was seized.

Rare Steakhouse also owes the state $139,946. A spokesperson said they had not seized that restaurant.

A nearby surveillance camera caught a U-Haul pulling up outside of Taste a day before the business was seized. Employees were seen loading furniture and other equipment into the truck for an hour at 1 a.m.

Later that day, a judge ruled in an eviction suit for the property at 3015 Bagby in favor of the landlord. He claims Bowie has not paid rent all year. As part of the judgment, Bowie has to either file an appeal or leave the property by Sept. 7.

Bowie's attorney, Ben Hall, told ABC13 on Wednesday that they filed a notice of appeal within hours of the ruling on Monday.

Taste Bar and Kitchen's Instagram said Monday the location in Midtown is closed for "renovations" and encouraged customers to visit their new locations.

The "Sugar Land" location in Missouri City reportedly opened this week.

A post to Instagram said they plan to open a location in downtown Houston at the corner of Main and Prairie later this week.

ABC13 stopped by the location on Wednesday and found people unloading equipment, alcohol, chairs, tables, margarita machines, fryers, etc., from a U-Haul that looked similar to the one seen on surveillance earlier in the week.

According to a search of Houston's database, permits for the location with the city are on hold.

ABC13 reached out to Bowie for comment but did not hear back.

For more on this story, follow Mycah Hatfield on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.