Graces 5 closes after falling behind on sales taxes
By ANDY NYSTROM
Redmond Reporter Editor
December 20, 2012 · 5:27 PM
Tim Sharpe is angry that he couldn’t agree on an offer with the state to keep his Graces 5 healthy eating restaurant open longer.
His foray into the business world with his wife, Katherine, was cut short last week after a 16-month run because the owners lost their business license due to unpaid taxes.
According to a State of Washington Department of Revenue order revoking certificate of registration taped to the restaurant’s door at 8110 164th Ave. N.E. in downtown Redmond, the Sharpes owe $38,340.48 in unpaid taxes.
Tim Sharpe said it was a tough go for small-business owners having to pay for food, rent and employees — and sales taxes, where they fell behind.
“We’re taking a step back. I don’t think this is the end of Graces 5,” he said on Wednesday. “We’re going to close for a few months, take a deep breath, re-evaluate our situation and get our debt taken care of.”
He added that they’ve met with restaurant consultants and may tweak their business plan and possibly relocate within the area, somewhere else in Washington or out of state.
“We’ve learned a ton and I want to say ‘thank you’ to the people who had allergies and came to support the restaurant,” he said, adding that some people thought the Graces 5 menu was “strange.” They offered a menu of gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and low-sugar items for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Tim Sharpe noted that people flocked to the restaurant and praised them for their healthy offerings.
One woman loved the place so much that she became an employee.
One junior-high student brought two friends to Graces 5 for a birthday gathering and the gluten-free-eating trio all enjoyed their meals.
“They had smiles from ear to ear,” he said.
In a Dec. 10 Facebook note, the owners wrote:
"We apologize for all the confusion. The negotiations with the state have been much more complicated than we expected. The offer we had before Thanksgiving fell through and we are working on a resolution. We appreciate all the times we have had the opportunity to serve meals to the allergy community.
In terms of not closing our reservation book, we are very sorry. We hoped this would be resolved each day that it hasn't been.
Our desire is to continue to serve this community but we may have to face the reality that we need to take a few steps back and look at ways to reopen in the future."
At least two Facebook users questioned what will become of the Groupons they purchased for Graces 5. The Sharpes declined to comment on that matter.
Contact Redmond Reporter Editor Andy Nystrom at email@example.com or 425-867-0353, ext. 5050.