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Carnegie Deli lawsuit against Pittsburgh eatery leads to imitator to bankruptcy: Report

Manhattan's famed Carnegie Deli muscled away a Pittsburgh restaurant whose name was too close for comfort, inadvertently forcing the out-of-town eatery into bankruptcy.

Carnegie Deli A nighttime exterior of the Carnegie Deli, a New York landmark restaurant established in 1937.
Credit: Oliver Morris//Getty Images

Manhattan's famed Carnegie Deli muscled away a Pittsburgh restaurant whose name was too close for comfort, inadvertently leading the out-of-town eatery into bankruptcy.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Thursday that the battle over the Carnegie brand went in the longtime New York City deli's favor after a costly legal battle that began in May.

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At the time, the 74-year-old Midtown establishment filed suit against Pittsburgh restaurateur Wesley Ross for trademarked infringement.

According to the Post-Gazette, Ross took down any branding and references to the Carnegie name almost immediately after he received notice — even though name is as popular with the midwest city's steel industry as it is with the music hall New York's deli was named after.

Nonetheless, the suit called for any gains and profits made in the month he operated under the name, as well as damages, be paid to the original Carnegie Deli owners.

As a result, Ross — who changed the restaurant's name to Wesley's Deli after two weeks of running the restaurant without a name — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization largely due to the suit.

"The Carnegie name is so synonymous to Pittsburgh," Ross told the Post-Gazette.

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