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Downtown’s Black Sheep faces a $60,029 tax lien.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
Downtown’s Black Sheep faces a $60,029 tax lien.

Jalili family of restaurateurs rack up tax debts

Co-owner Billy Jalili says a payment plan has been struck with the IRS

Posted online

The Jalili family of restaurateurs have nearly $500,000 in unpaid taxes, according to recent public records collected by Springfield Business Journal.

Federal tax liens indicate the Jalilis owe $330,525 through their Black Sheep, Char Steakhouse & Oyster Bar and Flame Steakhouse restaurant concepts. Co-owners Billy and Sara Jalili also are facing a personal tax lien of $147,323, bringing the total to $477,848.

Billy Jalili said the owners have worked with the IRS on a payment plan to compensate the government agency for the unpaid taxes.

“All the restaurants are doing good, and that’s why it makes it possible for us to pay off our back taxes,” he said via email.

He declined to provide details of the payment plan.

IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino said federal law prohibits the disclosure of correspondence between the agency and taxpayers.

“It’s a major tenet of tax administration,” he said.

According to IRS.gov, both short- and long-term payment plans for individuals and businesses are available, with both requiring satisfaction of accrued penalties and interest. Anne Marie Moy a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Revenue – which filed the federal tax liens for public record in Greene County – did not respond for comment by press time.

Jalili cited a “couple of bad investment decisions” for falling behind on taxes. He declined to identify the investments.

Jalili pointed to two major changes during the past year that may help the financial situation.

Char Steakhouse & Oyster Bar was created to take the place of Touch Restaurant & Oyster House in early 2019. In December 2018, the Jalilis sold their Midnight Rodeo nightclub to Dave Marsh, a 22-year employee who Billy Jalili said is “currently doing a great job as the new owner.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Additionally, the Jalilis’ plans for Chops, a venture in Galloway Village, were scrapped last year. Mike Jalili, co-owner of the family’s restaurant businesses, previously told SBJ cost concerns stopped the plans for Chops, a proposed boutique steakhouse at the Galloway Creek development, 3938 S. Lone Pine Ave.

“It was getting really expensive just for the infill,” he said in November 2018.

Beyond restaurants, Billy Jalili owns at least three downtown properties: 209 E. Walnut St., 321 South Ave. and 311 S. Patton Ave., according to Missouri secretary of state and Greene County assessor records. The Patton Avenue property is home to the Jalili family’s Zan nightclub – as well as the separately owned Patton Alley Pub – and the South Avenue address houses The Boogie, another downtown nightclub started by the Jalilis. Business filings with the Missouri secretary of state continue to connect Billy Jalili to Boogie, which closed in 2017 and later reopened. On Walnut Street, the Jalilis operate one of their three Black Sheep restaurants, and they lease space for Flame.

Public records show the majority of the tax liens against the restaurants are for unpaid employment and payroll taxes. Billy Jalili said the restaurants employ 330 people.

Among the restaurants, Char Steakhouse has the largest federal tax lien of $107,199, followed by Flame, at $100,157, Black Sheep in Chesterfield Village, at $63,140, and the downtown Black Sheep, at $60,029. Black Sheep ASAP, located at 2420 E. Sunshine St., was not named in the tax liens.

SBJ.net’s July 19 article on the tax lien records drew mixed responses from readers.

“The Jalili family are hard-working people that have been very successful in Springfield with some wonderful restaurants over the years,” said Teresa Zucchini-McClish, in a Facebook comment. “Sometimes when you expand your business, you have moments where money is tight.”

Another reader, Trish Bertrand, criticized the Jalilis for the taxes owed.

“So the American taxpayer subsidizes the wages for these companies via social welfare programs, and he can’t even pay his taxes?” Bertrand wrote on Facebook.

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