Less than two years after an A&W Restaurant opened on a long-idle site on Binghamton's East Side, the place has closed and the owner blames exorbitant property taxes.

When Manjot Dhillon opened the fast-food shop at 439 Court Street in April 2016, he was enthusiastic about what he said was a $2 million project. But things didn't work out the way he had hoped.

A sign at the drive-up window of the A&W Restaurant that opened in the spring of 2016. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The bottom line for Dhillon came when it became clear that the high taxes on the property were going to make it impossible to keep the business open.

Dhillon said you "can't sell enough burgers to pay the property taxes." The annual property tax bill for the site is nearly $55,000. He said his property tax bill for a similar restaurant he operates on the Vestal Parkway is about $25,000.

There are three other quick service restaurants near the now-closed A&W, including a Burger King directly across the street. Dhillon said those operators may be able to handle the high Binghamton property taxes because they have restaurants elsewhere with lower overhead costs.

Dhillon said high taxes and rising labor costs resulted in his unsuccessful Binghamton experience, which he described as a "sad story."

The "A&W" signs will be coming down soon at this closed restaurant in Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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