Aside from a terse email to managers and signs posted at the restaurant reading, “reBar is Closed and Bankrupt. DO NOT ENTER,” Stevens did nothing to inform his employees of plans to shutter his popular restaurant and bar.
The location was also a popular wedding venue for New York City couples, hundreds of which had already paid partially or in full for weddings in the coming months.
Stevens, who disappeared for several days after the closure with $175,000 in cash and wedding deposits, has been charged with multiple felonies, including grand larceny and tax fraud.
Stevens is accused of withholding nearly $1 million in taxes between 2009 and 2012 (although a reBar employee estimated a debt of $2.5 million), and faces up to 15 years imprisonment for grand larceny.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.