Several emails today that the Typhoon restaurant at 2310 NW Everett street has closed.
According to a notice taped to the door, it has been seized by the landlord for unpaid rent.
This is the “mothership” for the chain of popular Thai restaurants, which has now grown to seven locations. I couldn’t find anything saying when it first opened, but I recall a visit there at least 12 years ago.
Typhoon has suffered tremendously from many negative headlines over the years about various employee lawsuits for unfair labor practices all the way back to 2004.
In 2007, Typhoon owner Bo Kline won a National Diversity Award through the National Restaurant Association. At the time, the Oregonian had a different slant, saying “Restaurateur who reported Thai cooks to immigration wins diversity award”. This came over OregonLive’s RSS feed, which was pulled shortly afterward.
In January of this year, the IRS filed a lien against the chain for $1.5 million for unpaid state and federal taxes. The Internal Revenue Service filed a lien last month against Typhoon! Inc. according to Multnomah County Recorder’s office. The taxes usually are withheld from employee paychecks. Curiously, they opened their seventh restaurant just this past October, seemingly oblivious to the pending legal issues.
It will be interesting to see if they can manage to keep any of the locations open amid what seems to be a crushing debt load.
From my limited understanding – payroll tax is unlike income tax, you cannot negotiate with the IRS. So Typhoon has to pay back the entire amount – 1.5 mil in payroll tax, I don’t know if that even include penalties. That’s a tough nut to crack. I believe no one, no one just woke up someday and decides not to pay payroll tax and say screw their employees. I believe it is something that ones caught themselves up, and just dig deeper and deeper into trouble. I wish the best for the employees, and wish the best for everyone involved…
Over Priced Thai Food Bites The Dust.
Even with 7 locations that is a LOT of payroll to not have paid taxes on. It has to be years worth of unpaid tax (unless there are some hefty fines and interest in there as well).
I stopped going when I read about the Draconian terms in their contracts with their Thai national employees. They had a history of wage complaints by their employees. In the end their food was overpriced for what it was.
They are evil. There’s better Thai food in town where the owners don’t enslave their employees.
Just heard that they paid the landlord on NW23rd and reopens on Monday. That’s amazing! I wouldn’t think they will do that. But what do I know.
Back at the 1.5 mil payroll tax, it was over 2 years, and that’s a lot of payroll….
There are some penalties rolled into that figure. It was in the paper a few weeks ago.
I suspect they obtained a loan, raided the coffers for catering deposits or lent the $$$ to themselves to get the location reopened. I’m sure it was a fraction of what they owe—or they agreed to split revenue with the landlord. There are definitely ways to make it happen, but I still think they’re in trouble.
I actually interviewed with them waaay back in the day. Even though I made it to my 3rd interview at no time was compensation even touched upon. They had VERY unrealistic monetary goals in terms of the maount of function space. And yes, Steve Kline came across as a complete and utter douchebag (BTW, I was offered the job and declined it).
That said, the irony is, $1.5 mil isn’t REALLY that much $$$ for a group with seven locations and both on and off premise catering to generate, especially since the IRS would certainly let them pay it off in installments. It’s apparent they didn’t want to pay it in the first place and don’t want to pay it now.
I wonder how their “empire” will look when its seized and they watch from prison??? :-)
We are small business owners (mom & pop), and have supported Typhoon within the community with our services. They have promised numerous times to pay us what they owe and have repeatedly not come thru, even after we requested a “good faith ” payment………….. nothing. This has been ongoing from them for approx. 6 months! At what point are they fraudulent. We are such a small business, and they know it would cost us more to file against them to collect. They have no Shame!