In 2009, Miami restaurant Forge forced the Tribeca restaurant of the same name to become Marc Forgione. In March, Grow NYC, the group that runs the Greenmarkets across the city asked Greenmarket Tavern (now Greensquare Tavern) to drop their moniker. And now the brand spanking new Gotham 50 is getting the business from the famed Union Square staple Gotham Bar & Grill. The publicist for Gotham 50, now catchily called G-50 Bar & Grill, accuses the established restaurant of "culinary bullying" in this press release/rant:
At approximately 2pm on Thursday, May 5th, dining juggernaut Gotham Bar & Grill filed a motion against promising NYC newcomer Gotham 50, citing name and menu similarities and other allegations as the basis for a cease and desist order against the 50th street restaurant. Approximately one hour later that day, a Manhattan Federal judge indicated that a ruling would likely issue in favor of Gotham Bar & Grill, and only allowing Gotham 50’s counsel, Kevin N. Malek of Malek Schiffrin LLP, the mere overnight chance of less than 18 hours to put together an opposition, interview witnesses, identify evidence and draft papers for submission to the court. The court ultimately ruled for Gotham Bar & Grill.It looks like, via a quick Menupages and Google search, the only other real dining establishments in Manhattan with Gotham in their names are Gotham Pizza (a chain that would not easily be confused for the fine dining establishment) and Gotham Coffee House. As for the menus, they can be compared here and here.
The result of this unfortunate case of culinary bullying and rushed injustice is that Gotham 50 has been forced to change their name and will now be known as G-50 Bar & Grill. Talk about a "restaurant war" of David and Goliath-sized proportions!
Vincent DeGrezia, a partner and the general manager of what was Gotham 50 and now is G-50 Bar & Grill, says he "looks foward to showing off the new space under the new name." The owner of Gotham 50/G-50 Bar & Grill, Joe DeGrezia says he is "very disappointed by the decision. They are forcing us to change the name the day before we officially open without having had an adequate opportunity to be heard." Joe goes on to say "look at our menu – dishes range from $12-$26. There is no way we could be confused with an institution like Gotham Bar & Grill which charges more than $100 per person! I just don’t understand what they are so threatened of."
Not one to rush to judgment (pun intended), it’s hard not to wonder if the judge might just be a loyal customer of Gotham Bar & Grill. DeGrezia invites anyone that agrees with the ruling to visit G-50 Bar & Grill – he is confident they will be able to see what the judge did not.
· NY Greenmarket Asks Greenmarket Tavern to Change Name [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Gotham Bar & Grill [~ENY~]