Star­bucks prom­ises to pay more U.K. tax

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Sno­vak@states­ Jorge’s

Star­bucks has bowed to mount­ing pres­sure over its tax af­fairs in Bri­tain, with plans to pay about $16 mil­lion in each of the next two years.

Hav­ing been slammed by the coun­try’s law­mak­ers for “im­morally” avoid­ing tax, Star­bucks’ U.K. man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Kris Engskov said the firm had agreed to pay more than re­quired by law.

The Seat­tle-based cof­fee com­pany has 700 Bri­tish out­lets, but has paid just $13.8 mil­lion in cor­po­rate tax in 14 years. Star­bucks says it is due to a process in­volv­ing paying roy­al­ties to its Euro­pean head­quar­ters in the Nether­lands.

The com­pany hasn’t done any­thing il­le­gal. Firms op­er­at­ing in Europe can base them­selves in any of the 27 Euro­pean Union na­tions, al­low­ing them to take ad­van­tage of a coun­try’s low tax rates.

By Shonda No­vak

Ten years af­ter open­ing, Jorge’s restau­rant on Han­cock Drive will shut its doors Dec. 22.

But the name and its TexMex fare will live on in two new con­cepts that Jorge’s owner Diana Veloz is plan­ning.

In ad­di­tion, the new own­ers of the Jorge’s site — who in­clude Chuy’s co-founder Mike Young — said an­other Tex-Mex restau­rant will open in its place that will re­tain an Austin fla­vor and blend with the neigh­bor­hood.

Veloz re­cently sold the 9,000-square-foot Han­cock lo­ca­tion off Bur­net Road for an undis­closed price to a group of five in­vestors who be­sides Young in­clude Will Muntz, co-owner of Lucky Lounge down­town. Muntz will part­ner with John Ko­rioth, who owns Hanger Lounge and Six Lounge, in the new restau­rant, La Man­cha Tex-Mex Tav­ern, which will de­but in the spring, Muntz said.

Muntz said the build­ing will un­dergo an ex­ten­sive re­model, with de­sign work by noted ar­chi­tect Michael Hsu, whose of­fices are within walking dis­tance from Jorge’s. Muntz lives two blocks from Jorge’s, and Ko­rioth grew up in the neigh­bor­hood.

“It’s a great neigh­bor­hood, it’s a great prop­erty, and we wanted to keep it Austin­ta­tious,” Muntz said. “Jorge’s has been Austin­ta­tious, and we love that about Jorge’s. We want to sup­port the neigh­bor­hood with an­other great TexMex restau­rant.”

Veloz, mean­while, will carry on the Jorge’s tra­di­tion as she teams with two of her long­time em­ploy­ees to start the new con­cepts. One will be a cou­ple of small restau­rants, Jor­gi­tos, that would serve bur­ri­tos and ta­cos and have a full bar, to keep Jorge’s loyal cantina fol­low­ing happy. The other will be sev­eral smallscale, higher-end Jorge’s restau­rants that will serve a more spe­cial­ized menu with Veloz’s recipes, with an even greater

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