Pizza Wars: Judge rules Joe’s Pizza in Park Slope can keep name, must change signage

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PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn — Joe's Pizza has on Carmine Street has three other locations in New York — but a new pizzeria is causing some confusion for customers.

"Joe's Pizza Of The Village" in Park Slope is not related to Joe's Pizza in the West Village.

"Being a common name is detrimental to a place like Joe's just because it's so easy for somebody else to have the same name and they can easily defend the use of that name," said Scott Weiner of Scott's Pizza Tours.

PIX11 News sat down with the pizza expert at Luzzo's in the East Village to talk about what's in a name when it comes to pizza. Weiner says the battle of Joe's is kind of average when it comes to New York's pizza wars.

"The most famous squabble is probably Ray's," Weiner said. "In New York, Ray's was the name of pizzerias in the 70s and 80s. They diversified and it was 'Famous Ray's' and 'Original Ray's'. There were a lot of them that were related, but then the other one's that were not related violated the trademark of 'Famous Original Ray's'."

Then there was the problem with Patsy's.

"Patsy Grimaldi called his place Patsy's even though it wasn't the same thing as Patsy's up in Harlem, his uncle. And was forced to change the name from Patsy's to Grimaldi's. Which then became a bigger issue when Patsy Grimaldi sold Grimaldi's and when he decided to reopen a pizzeria he could not call it Grimaldi's, he had to call it a different name. He picked Juliana's, his mother's name."

As far as Joe's goes, a judge decided the Park Slope pizzeria will be able to use the name, although the signage had to change.

"Changing the signage might be enough to legally distinguish something, but I don't see sign of the place until I go there in person," said Weiner.

But true pizza connoisseurs aren't convinced they'll be confused by the name if the pizza is subpar.

"Once you walk in, maybe. Once you taste it, no," said Welby Alcantara as he enjoyed a slice out side of Joe's on Carmine.

Just be careful when giving out recommendations.

"If you tell somebody that you really like Joe's and then they go to a place called Joe's that's not the one you like and they don't think it's very good, now you look bad," said Weiner.

So, no matter how you slice it, you're better off giving an address to go with the name.

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