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Classic NY Steakhouse Embroiled in Family-Dividing $100M Lawsuit

It could “destroy” the company, one side says

The original Palm, with caricatures on the walls and a waiter at a table.
The original Palm
Nick Solares

The family behind ultra-classic New York steakhouse The Palm is locked in a bitter lawsuit over the not-small sum of $100 million. The steakhouse — the one covered in caricatures that originated here in 1926 — is now spread nationwide and split into a complicated ownership system that consists of two separate companies owned by various grandchildren of founders Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi.

Ganzi’s grandchildren Garry Ganzi and sister Claire Breen were part of the ownership of the original Palm — which closed in 2015 — while their cousin Walter Ganzi Jr. and former partner Bruce Bozzi Sr. formed a separate company in the 1970s for all new locations that have popped up across the country, in which Ganzi and Breen do not have a stake.

Instead, the siblings receive a $6,000 licensing fee from every new restaurant, which they say is not enough. In this lawsuit, they are asking for five percent of profits from every location, a payment that would amount to nearly $100 million, the Post reports. The Palm has 23 locations in the U.S. and two in Mexico City.

But Ganzi Jr. and Bozzi Sr. argue the two of them are responsible for the work of creating the new company and expanding the brand, and therefore are entitled to full ownership. They also claim that payment could “destroy” the company, which generates $1.8 million profit every year, Crain reports.

The trial wrapped up this week, with briefs due in January and the judge’s decision expected in mid- to late-March.

The Palm Too

840 2nd Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10017 (212) 697-5198 Visit Website