We’re still coming to terms with the fact that the UWS H&H; Bagels will soon be no more, but today The Wall Street Journal reopens the wound by diving way into the financial woes that are currently plaguing the New York institution — and it sounds like the tax issue that temporarily shuttered the shop in 2009 was more than just a flash in the pan: "[C]ourt records show that the business … had begun to falter far earlier, even before Helmer Toro, the head of H & H, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to weekends in jail last year for pocketing more than $300,000 in state payroll taxes from employees," the Journal reports.
Additionally, Toro is "facing two foreclosure actions … and filed four separate bankruptcy cases in Manhattan to head off the loss of his holdings." And the most ominous sounding line of all: "One of the bankruptcy filings shows that H & H may owe the Internal Revenue Service as much as $3 million, and $100,000 to the New York State tax department. In addition, following Mr. Toro’s guilty plea, the state was given a $500,000 mortgage on his West 46th Street outlet." There’s plenty more talk of foreclosures and bankruptcy filings for those who are interested in reading such things, but suffice it to say, it sounds as if the "Preserve H&H;" campaign that the Journal says is being organized by UWS resident James Besser might not be enough to save the business.