Last week, a number of Hoboken local blogs reported that a branch of New York's beloved Artichoke Basille's pizzeria was opening at 207 Washington Street. As turns out, this pizzeria, "Famous Artichoke Pizza," has no relation to the Manhattan mini-chain at all.
Artichoke founder and owner Francis Garcia tells Eater:
I found out about this four days ago. A buddy of mine who owns Mamoun's, he owns a store across the street and he told me about it. He asked me if I was opening. I said, "No. Un-fucking-believable." Recently, two of my guys left the MacDougal Street restaurant. I said, "Good luck, I hope you make a million bucks," not knowing that they were going to steal my name and my recipes.
I put the pieces together, and I went down and found out it was them. So our attorney's working on it now, but the people in Hoboken, once they get it in their minds, people are still going to associate it with us.Garcia also notes that there have been similar copycats in the past, including one restaurant in North Carolina that shamelessly stole both the concept and the full name. Hopefully Team Artichoke will get this straightened out soon before it escalates into a Ray's/Original Ray's/Famous Original Ray's situation.
My lawyers are on it, but it's going to cost us an arm and a leg, and just the fact that they were with us...I treated them like family. We're a real tight knit bunch — everyone that works in our store, they're either friends of ours or family. It sucks. You break your ass, you try and make something, and people just try and steal it.
· All Coverage of Artichoke [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Pizza Wars [~ENY~]