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Theodore’s hot dog restaurants seized for back taxes

All three Theodore’s Original Red Hots locations have been seized for nonpayment of taxes, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance confirmed.

The restaurants were locked and marked with notices of the seizure Thursday. The state says the business has four sales tax warrants, totaling $123,333, which cover a period from February to November last year.

“Seizing a business is always the last resort,” said James Gazzale, a tax department spokesman. “We are constantly in communication with owners and long before this becomes a reality they are well aware that the business could be seized if the debt is not resolved.”

The tax department said it would continue to work with the owners to resolve the tax bill.

Theodore’s could not immediately be reached for comment.

Theodore and Beth Liaros started the Theodore’s chain in 2011 after being ousted from their positions at their family’s business, Ted’s Hot Dogs.

Theodore Liaros’ grandfather and namesake founded Ted’s in 1927. Liaros had served as vice president before being fired in 2011 with his wife. They said they were blindsided by the firing, and were given no explanation other than that Ted’s wanted to “go in a different direction.”

The Theodore’s restaurants look much like Ted’s restaurants and the food is very similar. The stores are located on Grand Island Boulevard in Grand Island, Union Road in Cheektowaga and Transit Road in Amherst.