The Internal Revenue Service recently filed tax liens amounting to $1.48 million of back taxes against La Popular Bakery & Cafe No. 1/Ricardo Arias, per IRS documents.
The IRS filed three notices of tax liens against the restaurant and Arias on Feb. 4. Another notice was filed Sept. 2. The Abilene Reporter-News obtained documents which said the liens were connected to Arias’s failure to pay several mandatory taxes. These could include unemployment, Social Security and Medicare taxes, Reporter-News said.
There are three La Popular restaurants, and Ricardo Arias is listed as the owner of at least one of the three. However, only La Popular Bakery & Cafe No. 1 is listed in the lien documents, according to Abilene Reporter-News.
Owners of the restaurant would not comment on news of the liens. La Popular Bakery & Cafe, known by locals as ‘La Pop,’ is an Abilene staple. It is a favorite haunt that would be sorely missed by many ACU students.
Keith Sanders, senior Ad/PR major from Abilene, said he’s been a La Pop regular for more than 15 years. Despite initial skepticism, he was hooked by the amazing food and, 15 years later, he’s still hooked.
“After Harold’s BBQ closed, La Pop was the place I took people who wanted an authentic Abilene food experience,” Sanders said. “Anytime any of my friends come back to town, it’s always a must-stop before they leave. I’ve honestly probably taken over 100 people to La Pop.”
Lily Auker, sophomore Ad/PR major from Prescott, Arizona, is one of those 100 people whom Sanders introduced to La Pop. Auker first ate at La Pop her freshmen year. During her first visit, Sanders told her that La Pop would be a lifesaver during her time in Abilene. Three semesters later, Auker continues to enjoy the La Pop experience and savor the delicious breakfast burritos at least twice a week.
“To me its’s the perfect food and Abilene simply wouldn’t be the same without it,” Auker said.
The future of La Popular Bakery & Cafe No. 1 and Ricardo Arias may be unclear, but the restaurant remains cemented in its customers’ hearts.
“It’s a community builder, and very close to my heart as well as the hearts of those that call Abilene home,” Auker said.