Auction clients get it to go

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A few dozen bidders turned out Wednesday morning as practically every single item that could be removed from the closed Burger King on Route 17 in North Suffolk was auctioned to pay back taxes due to the City of Suffolk.

The Burger King was one of six owned by Samina and Sarmed Azhar throughout the region until last October, when the restaurants were closed after the Azhars failed to pay thousands of dollars in meals taxes.

“We’re here today trying to put an end to the Burger King saga,” said Andrew Tasch, compliance manager of Suffolk’s Treasurer’s Office.

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“This will complete the final amount that’s left over,” said Tasch.

Prior to the auction of 201 lots of equipment in the restaurant, Azhar Holding Co. owed $2,585.53 in taxes.

“This is the last resort,” Tasch said . “The city doesn’t want this. We want the business to remain open. Businesses bring in revenue for the city. When you get past the point of no return, this is the end result.”

Some of the other Burger Kings that were closed in October have been reopened under corporate management. The Azhars’ Burger King in Windsor recently had everything auctioned.

About 40 to 50 people were on hand in the store for the auction, but a handful of bidders bought the vast majority of the property.

Bidders had to pay for winning bids within 30 minutes of the close of the auction. Every item bought has to be removed from the store by 5 p.m. Thursday.

All merchandise was sold “as is” without guarantees of any kind. Among a list of rules on a poster was “no refunds, no exceptions.”

There were obvious items from a restaurant. All of the appliances from the kitchen, registers, trays, tables, chairs, trash cans and drink machines were auctioned.

Literally everything was going out the door, so 16 “Big Bumpin” Xbox games sold for 50 cents each. Twelve boxes containing tens of thousands of cups and lids sold for $50. A sign from the outside of the building reading “Drive Thru Open Late” sold for $35. A milkshake machine went for $350.

Leftover toys from kids meals were auctioned off. The ICEE machine was one of the most expensive items, getting $900.

All of the deep fryers, even with the oil, grease, and remaining, foul-smelling residue from the last batch of chicken tenders and French fries from October — included “as is” — were sold.

All of the janitorial supplies and equipment, even the shed behind the back of the restaurant, had to go.

Tasch said the city would know the bottom line on the auction, and if it cleared the debt to the city, by the middle of next week.