Hartford Restaurant Group, which manages the Wood-n-Tap restaurants, plans to buy the former Apricots in Farmington and take on the restaurant's debts.
Apricots, which was open for 25 years, has been closed since October. One of the owners said late last year that they were dealing with a family illness and planned to renovate and reopen in January, but that did not happen.
Jennifer Swerdlick, the owner of Restaurant Equipment Paradise, said the owners hired her company to handle the auction.
“We basically just go one by one and auction everything off and in two hours we sell everything,” she said.
Everything inside the restaurant was sold during the auction, but Restaurant Equipment Paradise was not sure whether there would be an auction at all when they arrived and found police.
“We got here this morning and there was a police officer here and someone from the town. I guess there were some tax issues with the property,” said Ken Pesce, who was assisting with the auction.
According to the Farmington tax collector, Apricots owed more than $5,800 in business and personal property taxes.
“I guess whoever is buying the building is stepping up,” Pesce said.
Hartford Restaurant Group plans to purchase the Apricots property within weeks and pay the other $41,000 that Apricots owes in outstanding charges and taxes upon the final sale.
“Our goal is to make sure that we can take care of these situations so the Howards can move on with their life and take care of their health without having this extra burden on them,” the company said in a statement.