ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A judge has ruled against a former Old Town restaurant in a more than 2-year-old minimum wage dispute. Employees at Hacienda Del Rio claimed the restaurant did not pay the state minimum wage and at times, had their tips stolen.

The judge says restaurant owners failed to provide evidence to counter these claims. So, District Court Judge Joshua Allison ordered a judgment by default, ordering the restaurant to pay more than $149,000 with a 10% interest rate tacked on per year until it’s paid in full.

That includes more than $48,000 in back pay and nearly $100,000 in damages to 51 former employees. The restaurant has been closed since before the start of the pandemic.