The two-Michelin star restaurant Sergi Arola Gastro in Madrid was shuttered by authorities on Tuesday because the restaurant owes €148,000 (about $192,500) in unpaid taxes. According to the Telegraph, officials "turned up without warning" during lunch service and sealed off the bar and wine cellar before taking inventory of the restaurant's assets. Chef Sergi Arola tells the Local that they "would have closed the dining room too," if 40 customers hadn't still been eating. The restaurant was "slapped with [the] bill" despite having been granted a monthly debt repayment plan with Spain's tax authorities. It gets worse: Arola evidently also owes the Spanish Social Security department €160,000 (about $208,100).
Arola tells the Local he and his wife/front-of-house manager Sara Fort were "fearing" this would happen, despite reducing running costs over the last year and cutting employee salaries in an attempt to keep the restaurant open and repay its debt. Sergi Arola Gastro will "remain closed for the foreseeable future," unless the owned amount is paid in full or is guaranteed by a bank.