Toledo, Ohio – A legal feud involving a hot dog eatery made famous by TV series M*A*S*H has seen jurors acquit restaurant owner Tony Packo III and an alleged accomplice of plotting to steal almost $250,000 from a restaurant chain.
Packo III is the grandson of an Ohio man who founded Tony Packo’s, a hot dog restaurant in Toledo, Ohio that became famous in the 1970s after being namedropped on the hit TV show M*A*S*H. Packo III and a company controller were accused by prosecutors of attempting to con a restaurant chain that sells its hot dog sauces in food stores nationwide.
Prosecutors claimed that Packo III felt he was entitled to more money, even though he owned only a minority share of the Tony Packo’s eatery.
The defense argued that the charges in the hot dog feud were an offshoot of a family dispute, suggesting that Packo’s own cousin had invented accusations of theft in a bid to take over the business.
Jurors sided with Packo III and the company controller, taking under an hour to return “not guilty” verdicts.
Ever since the eatery was mentioned in a 1976 M*A*S*H episode, Tony Packo’s has become a tourist destination for fans and is filled with memorabilia from the show.
The restaurant’s limelight moment came when Cpl. Max Klinger, a homesick soldier in the Korean War who was played by Jamie Farr, uttered the immortal line:
“If you’re ever in Toledo, Ohio, on the Hungarian side of town, Tony Packo’s got the greatest Hungarian hot dogs.”
With the two men now declared innocent, the new ownership group behind Tony Packo’s confirmed that both Tony Packo III and his father would stay with the restaurant group.