As the Mallozzi family prepares to open an Albany version of the iconic Brown Derby restaurant, the list of people fighting for the rights to its name is growing.
The Schenectady restaurateurs in November unveiled plans to convert a former Salvation Army building on Clinton Avenue into a Hollywood Brown Derby. But whether the restaurant will open under that name remains to be seen because three companies are pursuing legal protection for the “Brown Derby” mark.
Robert Mallozzi applied last June to trademark the name “Hollywood Brown Derby” and a design featuring a derby-style hat with “The Brown Derby” written in it. A day after Mallozzi sent his applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a Hudson, Ohio, company associated with the Brown Derby Roadhouse chain also applied for a “Brown Derby” trademark. The Ohio company, RTS Consultants, won legal protections for “Girves Brown Derby” in 2002.
Last week, the patent office received another application from a Los Angeles restaurateur for “The Brown Derby” mark. That application came from Brooke Anderson, who also wants to open a restaurant. When contacted by phone Friday, she said she is the granddaughter of the Brown Derby’s founder, but she would not elaborate further on her plans for that venture.
The three restaurateurs from coast to coast are vying to control a name with deep roots in the golden age of Hollywood. The original Brown Derby, which was shaped like its namesake hat, gained its fame by creating the Shirley Temple and Cobb Salad and serving famous actors.
But whichever way the trademark dispute goes, Robert Mallozzi said he will open the Brown Derby-themed restaurant, which includes red booths and caricature paintings from the original L.A. landmark. Its name might be tweaked, possibly to the Original Hollywood Derby.
“Either way, it’s not going to impact our plans,” said Mallozzi, whose Mallozzi Group runs Mallozzi’s Belvedere Hotel, Villa Italia Pasticceria and Mallozzi’s Banquet & Ballrooms in Schenectady County.
Between 1926 and 1975, four Brown Derby restaurant operated in the L.A. area. In 1989, the franchise's last restaurant closed in Pasadena, Calif. Disney Corp. that year opened its own version of the Brown Derby at its MGM Studios theme park in Florida.