Monday, June 02, 2008

Wolfgang who?

So, what's in a name? If it's your name, aren't you entitled to it? Perhaps not.

Wolfgang (Puck, that is) is suing Wolfgang (Zwiener, that is).

I bring you this story as an interested party on several counts - a steak eater who has fairly despaired of finding a good steak in LA, a New Yorker, and someone with a name.

Nutshell version (mine): The two Wolves signed an agreement in 2007 covering the use and representation of their names in and outside of their home turfs (why is it wolf and wolves, but turf and not turves?).

The history as I understand it goes like this: WZ, a long-time waiter at Peter Luger's steakhouse in NY, opened a very good steakhouse in NYC (and not in Brooklyn - HUGE bonus), in 2004. Three years in, as he expanded, he and that other Wolfgang - who, I assure you, does not cause much of a stir in the Big Apple - shmoozed, discussed, agreed and signed. Case closed. Or not. Because now, after WZ opened his latest outpost in Beverly Hills, it's Wolfgang v Wolfgang.

Nutshell analysis (also mine): Despite the 2007 agreement , Pucko is marking his territory with a nuisance suit. In good ol' New Yorker fashion, WZ is pretty much saying, we covered this already, nein? Ja, nein.

P.S. I've had the steak at CUT by Wolfgang Puck (the one in BH) and at the newest Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener (also in BH) and Zwiener's steak wins. By a mile. WZ can surely improve some things (service, wine list, bread) - but, damn, that steak is fine.

P.P.S. It's about time a New Yorker opened a steakhouse in La La land. I mean, really.

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