Revenue Department shuts down local restaurant


The Spicy Pickle Restaurant and Bar was shut down last month by the N.C. Department of Revenue.


Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A local restaurant that was shut down by the N.C. Department of Revenue has plans to re-open in the near future.

The Spicy Pickle Restaurant and Bar at 2921 Zebulon Road has been closed since last month. Schorr Johnson, director of public affairs for the N.C. Department of Revenue, said he can confirm that the agency took action against the restaurant.

“Pursuant to North Carolina law, the property was seized for nonpayment for taxes,” Johnson said. “Due to taxpayer privacy laws, we are unable to provide other details, as that would be considered protected taxpayer information.”

Spicy Pickle owner Sharif Elsayed said he plans for the restaurant to be back open within the next 30 days but also said that he doesn’t plan to pay the charge imposed by the state agency.

“The Department of Revenue wants me to pay someone else’s taxes, but I’m not doing it,” he said.

Elsayed and a former partner opened the Spicy Pickle in January 2017 in the Shoppes at Stoney Creek Plaza. The Spicy Pickle later closed for a few weeks as Elsayed acknowledged the restaurant had some issues that needed to be addressed. 

Elsayed re-opened the Spicy Pickle on his own and said he made it into a new limited liability company. He also made some changes to the restaurant by adding more seating, adding some new selections to the menu, taking some items off of it and bringing in a whole new staff.

“Spicy Pickle was doing very well when I re-opened it,” Elsayed said. “It was the slowest that I ever been, but the most profitable it had been.”

Elsayed acknowledged he has gotten several emails and Facebook messages from people in the community wanting to know if or when the restaurant is going to re-open.

“I just hope people don’t look down on me and I hope they come back and support me when I do open it back up,” Elsayed said. “With me being new to the restaurant scene, I’ve learned a lot and I am defintely looking at using this experience to prosper from it.”

In December, Elsayed opened Chopped Panini at 3665 Sunset Ave. in the Westridge Village Shopping Center. The resturant offers selections such as paninis, crepes, gourmet sandwiches, vegan and vegetarian entrees, gluten-free food and other items such as Mediterranean food, salads and desserts.