Uptown Joe's opened yesterday just as news dropped that it is considering counter-suing rival Original Joe's. The legal ruckus is drowning out any possible opening fanfare, so let's go over this step by step: First, a group controlling the Hotel Majestic approached the Duggan family about reopening the fire-damaged Original Joe's in the shuttered Cafe Majestic space. When the Duggans refused, the group, which included former Original Joe's employees, went ahead and started working on Uptown Joe's. The Duggans sued for trademark infringement, and yesterday Scoop reported that Uptown Joe's is getting ready to counter-sue the Original Joe's folks for hurting their business.
Meanwhile, Eater got ahold of the new Joe's menu today and compared it to that of Original Joe's. "By our count, of the 35+ menu items at Uptown Joe's, only three don't appear on the Original Joe's menu." In many cases, the copy on the menu barely changed from Original to Uptown Joe's. Perhaps the Duggans have a right to be mad? On the other hand, we have no clue when or if they'll ever reopen, so in that way, the clash seems intellectual at best. This fight will be fun to watch though, be it court battle or, with any luck, an escalating campaign of mean-spirited pranks.
Changes afoot at Chez Papa Resto; more on Original Joe's [Scoop/SF Chronicle]
Exactly How Similar Are the Menus at Original and Uptown? [Eater SF]
Earlier: Original Joe's Suing Uptown Joe's [Grub Street SF]