Ferry House Restaurant Shut Down by State Department of Taxation (Updated)

A notice on the door of the Ferry House informs visitors that the state has seized the property because of failure to pay taxes.

The state has seized all of the property at the Ferry House for nonpayment of taxes, according to an orange notice on the door that was dated Oct. 11.

This is the second time in a little over a year that the state has closed the restaurant and placed a lien seizure notice on the door. Trigg could not be reached for comment on the issue.

The Ferry House filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall, and the state stopped pursuing the matter. But according to federal bankruptcy court records reviewed by Planet Princeton, the bankruptcy case was dismissed in June for failure to provide information to the courts.

According to bankruptcy court records from 2011, the Ferry House owed more than $250,000 in debts to vendors, banks, the State of New Jersey and the Internal Revenue Service.

The Ferry House owed the State of New Jersey Division of Revenue $162,283 in sales tax for the period from 2006 to 2010, according to bankruptcy court records from a Nov. 8, 2011 filing. The Ferry House also owed the IRS $21,000 for 2009 and 2010 taxes. Other creditors included Chase Bank, Discover, Blue Crab Seafood and several other food vendors.

According to a 2010 federal tax return filed with the bankruptcy court, the Ferry House operated at a loss in 2010. Gross receipts for 2010 totaled $664,912, but salaries, wages, operational costs and other expenses led to a net loss of $62,056. Trigg did not pay himself a salary from the restaurant that year, according to the tax records.

Trigg opened the Ferry House in Lambertville in 1992, and moved the restaurant to the current Witherspoon Street location in downtown Princeton in 1998. The restaurant was considered one of the best in town, and Trigg’s signature lamb chops were a patron favorite.

In 2006, Trigg and Barry Sussman purchased the Peacock Inn in Princeton. The project faced extensive delays and Trigg and Sussman eventually parted ways. Sussman owns the Peaock Inn, and Trigg went on to become a partner in BT Bistro on Route 1.