WICHITA — Ajax International Group filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 8, which should allow a number of Taco Ticos to reopen around Wichita and possibly in a few other areas.
The state seized the assets of Ajax, which owns Taco Tico, and closed 10 of the restaurants in Wichita, Derby, Dodge City, Arkansas City and Topeka on Monday for failure to pay almost $435,000 in taxes.
"We have been in discussion with the Department of Revenue, and we have reached an agreement that will allow for (the Taco Ticos) to reopen," says Bill Zimmerman, who is owner Mohmood Karim's attorney.
Zimmerman says Karim may be back in the buildings as early as today.
"Physically, how soon the stores can be up and running, I don't know," he says.
Zimmerman says part of the company's problem in getting behind on taxes and other bills was underperforming stores.
"They had some stores that simply weren't making money," he says. "Not all the stores will reopen, I know that. ... But I don't know which ones specifically yet."
Zimmerman says the company owes some suppliers money as well but that taxes are the main issue for Ajax and Karim.
"They're hopeful that they can make money with the stores that stay open ... and pay the debts under the reorganization."