Theodore's expanding its hot dog footprint

April 14, 2011 Updated Apr 14, 2011 at 9:26 AM EDT

By James Fink, Business First

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Theodore's expanding its hot dog footprint

April 14, 2011 Updated Apr 14, 2011 at 9:26 AM EDT

A former Pizza Hut location is about to come back to life as a Theodore's Hot Dog Stand.

Theodore's - officially known as Theodore's Original Charcoal Broiled Hots - has acquired a former Pizza Hut restaurant on Bailey Avenue and will be opening the Amherst eatery later this year.

The property is situated where Bailey Avenue and Grover Cleveland Highway intersect.

The Pizza Hut has been closed for nearly four years. It was one of eight Pizza Huts in Western New York that GE Capital Franchise Finance Corp. was selling. GE Capital retained Michael Palumbo from Rochester-based Flaum Management Co. Inc. to sell or lease the properties.

"They were looking at it (Bailey Avenue) for a while," Palumbo said. "Once they decided they wanted it, the deal came together quickly."

Theodore's paid $150,000, according to documents in the Erie County Clerk's office. GE Capital had listed the property with a $190,000 sale price.

Besides the Theodore's deal, Palumbo said a former Pizza Hut on Grand Island was leased to local pizzeria operator Brian Wilkie while another on Seneca Street near the Buffalo/West Seneca border is under contract to non-restaurant retailer.

Likewise, a former Pizza Hut in Albion is also under contract to a national retailing chain.

Palumbo, citing confidentiality clauses, could not identify the potential buyer for the Seneca Street or Albion Pizza Hut locations.

Interest has been strong in a closed Pizza Hut in East Aurora, especially since GE Capital reduced the price to $190,000, Palumbo said.

"Quite a few people are looking at it," he said.

Meanwhile, to help generate interest in former Pizza Hut sites in Medina, Alden and Olean, GE Capital also reduced the listing price. Medina and Alden have a $190,000 asking price while Olean was dropped to $170,000.

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