Despite earlier denials, Snuffy's Pantagis Renaissance in Scotch Plains has closed while owing the township over a half million dollars in back property taxes and sewer bills, according to township tax records.

Steve Pantagis told TAP into Scotch Plains/Fanwood on behalf of his company, Pantagis Enterprises, that its eight board members unanimously voted to close the restaurant because of the coronavirus. Customers who had booked events are being contacted, Pantagis told TAP.

Nick Pantagis denied reports earlier the restaurant was closing and told TAP Into Scotch Plains/Fanwood and called it a "lie" that it was closing.

Tax records show Snuffy Pantagis Enterprises owes $531,035 in back property taxes and $45,687 in sewer bills for 2019 and 2020 on 250 Park Ave. The records show that the owner is also delinquent on sewer bills and taxes owed for property located at 202 Union Ave. ($5,184.71 taxes only), 1915 Mountain Ave. ($9987.21, taxes; $462.45 sewer)  and 1814 Mountain Ave. ($10,318.63 taxes, $490,22 sewer).

During the pandemic, restaurants were only allowed to offer takeout and delivery until June under an executive order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy. Indoor dining was not permitted until September with a 25% capacity. Indoor wedding venues have only been allowed to open at 150 persons or 25% of a room's capacity, whichever number is lower.

A Lildl grocery store and park-and-ride had been approved by the Township Council at its meeting on November 12. 2019  for the site

Thomas Strowe, the project's coordinator, told MyCentralJersey.com that developers and Pantagis Enterprises have not reached an agreement and the project is on hold.

Steve Pantagis on Wednesday morning did not return a message from New Jersey 101.5 seeking additional information.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ