State seizes Vail diner |

State seizes Vail diner

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL ” D.J.’s Diner, the longtime, all-hours breakfast spot in Lionshead, has been seized by the state because it owes taxes.

The business owes $5,218.08 payroll and sales tax to the state, the Department of Revenue said in a notice posted on the door of the restaurant.

D.J.’s also owes sales tax to the town of Vail, said Sally Lorton, Vail’s sales tax administrator. The town has estimated D.J.’s back sales taxes ” from March through July ” at $4,540, Lorton said.

An auction for the property inside D.J.’s has been set for Tuesday.

The restaurant apparently opened in the late ’70s.

“When I came into town in 1984, that was the first place I ate breakfast,” said Tommy Neyens, a longtime Vail resident and owner of the Ski Valet, a nearby business. “It’s always had good crepes, good omelets. It’s sad to see it go ” if it goes.”

The owner, Duncan Pinnell, still has until Tuesday to pay his outstanding taxes. Pinnell did not return a phone call Thursday.

“Seized” signs are displayed in the windows of the business.

On Thursday morning, Karen Springer from the Department of Revenue’s Grand Junction office unlocked the doors of the restaurant to let in Nick Sunday from Alpine Vending and Video so he could retrieve an ATM machine.

“It’s happened to us before (elsewhere),” Sunday said.

Mike Fernandez, an owner of Moe’s Barbecue next door, said D.J.’s seemed to be drawing plenty of customers, even though it was open inconsistently of late.

“Every day they were open, they’d be doing a lot of business,” he said.