Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 12, 2009 07:39 PM
Restaurant name disputes aren’t new, and in the New York metro area they can be as tumultuous as Yankees/Mets debates, such as the fight over the Patsy’s Pizza name that continues to rage despite a jury trial and court order.
More recently, a federal judge has ruled that a Long Island restaurant can call itself the Original Vincent’s Clam Bar even though the (small-o) original Vincent’s, which was established in Manhattan’s Little Italy in 1904, still exists.
For older restaurant brands, the year of establishment is part of its appeal. The most popular steakhouse in New York, Peter Luger, promotes its legacy with “Est. 1887” in its logo. McSorely’s Old Ale House claims to be the oldest bar in New York, but a 1995 New York Times article disputed not only its date of establishment, but also whether it’s even the oldest bar in the city.
Two families bought the separate Vincent’s restaurants from a man who franchised the Vincent’s brand. But Anthony and Robert Marisi, who own the Carle Place Vincent’s, later bought all the “original” naming rights and initiated a 16-year court battle with the Generoso family, which owns the Little Italy Vincent’s, when the Marisis tried to trademark “The Original Vincent’s Established 1904.” A federal judge finally ruled in the Marisis’ favor.
The official big-O Vincent’s uses “From Little Italy” and “Est. 1904” in its logo. As of today, however, the small-o original Vincent’s still calls itself big-O “Original” on its website. But one assumes that will soon change.
Now that the Vincent’s situation is finally resolved, can someone please settle the Famous/Original Ray’s Pizza issue?