Warren's Stella Blues back open after tax flap

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Stella Blues is back open for business, a week and a half after it closed in the midst of a tax issue with the State of Rhode Island.

The popular restaurant at the corner of Water and Miller streets closed Sunday, Dec. 1, after Warren Town Clerk Julie Coelho notified the owners that their liquor license was being held up by the state. Though licenses are issued by the town, the state contacts Ms. Coelho’s office every November to alert her which businesses have paid their state taxes — required for the town to issue the yearly license, which is in effect from December to November. In Stella Blues’ case, notification never came by the deadline of Saturday, Nov. 30, she said, so she held it up.

“Once we’re notified that the tax issues are settled, then we can release it,” she said.

Ms. Coelho said she told owners that they could still open if they removed their alcohol, but they apparently chose not to. As of Monday, though, the issue appeared to have been rectified. A woman who answered the phone at the restaurant said everything had been taken care of, and the doors were open for normal winter hours.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.