X20 – Xaviar’s on the Hudson, the iconic upscale restaurant perched on Yonkers’ waterfront, was seized on Friday for failure to address tax debts. A spokesperson from New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance confirmed the recent seizure.
A Fixture of Yonkers Fine Dining
Owned by chef and restaurateur Peter Xaviar Kelly, X20 is known for exceptional American fare and received positive reviews in the Michelin Guide. Yonkers knows Kelly for both his love of food and passion for helping others. For several years, he provided a Thanksgiving dinner for underprivileged members of the community.
Since opening his first restaurant in 1983, Kelly received numerous awards and accolades for his cuisine, including the James Beard Award (2010) for Best Chef: Northeast for Xaviars at Piermont, the Best Award of Excellence (1998) from Wine Spectator, and was named Best Chef (2003) by Westchester Magazine. Kelly won his Iron Chef: America battle against noted celebrity chef Bobby Flay, and also hosted a tour of Hudson Valley restaurants on Anthony Bourdain’s culinary tourism series, No Reservations.
A History of Financial Issues
Before Friday’s seizure of X20, Kelly had previously encountered financial difficulties with his restaurants. In September 2019, Kelly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for himself and his two restaurants–X20 in Yonkers and Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar in Congers. The filings were made for Ripe Inc. and HCC Caterers Inc., parent organizations for Restaurant X and X20, respectively.
In a statement to The Journal News at the time, Kelly said of the filing:
“Doing this kind of company reorganization is something everyone from Elton John to George Foreman has gone through. It’s an unfortunate situation and I’m going to work through it. Not one employee has been let go, nor have we sacrificed quality. Everything is the same.”
Has Yonkers Bitten off more than it can chew?
The seizure of X20 raised criticisms of the current mayor, Mike Spano. In a lengthy statement from Republican City Council member Anthony Merante, he lays the blame on the Mayor’s policies. Merante cites poor business growth due to rising crime rates and real estate over-development that’s ill-suited for the neighborhood. Ultimately, he frames the mayor’s policies “as fake as a Hollywood set.“
Mike Spano is living in a “fantasyland ” of photo-ops, press conferences and PR puffery. By the way, Yonkers taxpayers are paying for his public relations machine.Anthony Merante
Further Details Are Limited
While the Department of Taxation and Finance works with businesses to ensure compliance with their tax obligations, they also require businesses to address tax debts in good faith. According to News12 Westchester, calls for additional information to the restaurant’s parent company, Xaviar’s Restaurant Group, remain unanswered. The day-to-day operation of the restaurant remains unknown at this time.