You might have heard that the famed Rod’s Pizza Cellar in Hot Springs recently sold.
But did you know that it also recently settled its dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over back taxes?
Last month, Chief U.S. District Judge Susan O. Hickey approved the settlement that called for Rod’s Pizza to pay the IRS $600,558 for back taxes.
If you recall, in July, the federal government filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Hot Springs seeking to sell the famous Hot Springs pizza joint’s 6,295-SF building at 3350 Central Ave. in order to pay the restaurant’s back taxes for 2014-17. Uncle Sam said that Rod’s Pizza owed $586,370 in taxes. The bulk of the taxes owed, $579,668, is for unpaid employment tax, according to the suit, filed at the request of the chief counsel of the IRS.
Rod’s Pizza’s attorney, Neil Deininger of Little Rock, said an apparent embezzlement years ago might have been the cause for the tax trouble.
“I don’t know that for sure, … but that is what I understood was a good part of the problem,” Deininger said.
He added that the pizza parlor “had a good record of paying taxes, both before and after a certain limited period of noncompliance.” Rod’s opened in 1975 and its website touts it as being the oldest pizza place in town.
Beasley Properties Inc. of Hot Springs bought Rod’s Pizza for a price that isn’t publicly available. An owner wasn’t immediately available for comment Thursday.
Beasley Properties’ restaurant portfolio includes the legendary McClard’s Bar-B-Q.
Deininger said the sales price covered the cost of the back taxes.