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Theodore’s Red Hots not reopening local restaurants

Three Theodore’s Red Hots restaurants that were seized for back taxes will not reopen.

The company was unable to pay four outstanding sales tax warrants totalling $123,333 and couldn’t secure a payment plan with the state tax and finance department, according to Ted Liaros, the company’s owner. He paid 25 percent of the bill in December, he said, and wanted to work out a plan to pay off the rest.

“We hit roadblocks every time we thought we had the answer,” Liaros said in an email.

The company employed more than 70 people.

Liaros hinted on the Theodore’s Facebook page that he might reopen in Florida and said he would not give up on the business he grew up in.

“This is all I’ve ever done and I do it well,” he wrote on Facebook. “I don’t believe I am ready to give up on my Grandfather’s dream quite yet.”

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, Beth. 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 looked much like Ted’s restaurants and had very similar food. The stores were located on Grand Island Boulevard in Grand Island, Union Road in Cheektowaga and Transit Road in Amherst.