Grease and desist: Beauty's puts other restaurants on legal notice regarding iconic Mish-Mash dish
MONTREAL - What's in a name?
In the case of Montreal's most iconic diner and one of its signature dishes, a lot - including sending cease-and-desist letters to competitors offering a dish with the same moniker.
Beauty's Luncheonette, the brunch institution on Mont-Royal Ave. that was founded in 1942, has been drawing lineups for decades. Many of those patient brunchers have ordered the Mish-Mash, an omelette overflowing with salami, green peppers, onions and other ingredients.
A similar dish - often with the same name, but with varying ingredients - is served at several other diners in Montreal, which, until recently, has caused no waves.
But that changed two weeks ago when owners of some of those restaurants - including Bagel Etc. on Saint-Laurent Blvd. and Cosmos on Sherbrooke in NDG - say they received cease-and-desist letters from Beauty's saying it had trademarked the Mish-Mash name, and demanding they either credit Beauty's on their menus or use a different name for their version of the dish.
They also asked the other diners to make a $100-a-year donation to the Jewish General Hospital as a goodwill gesture.
The letters have left some of the other diner owners surprised and puzzled as to what was behind Beauty's legal warning.
"We've been doing this for probably 30 years, making a Mish-Mash, and we've never had any problems with Beauty's - we're all good neighbours here," said Harold Leitner, co-owner of Bagel Etc., located on The Main just a couple of blocks southeast of Beauty's.
No one from Beauty's would comment to CTV News Montreal on the cease-and-desist letters, or why, as Bagel Etc's proprietors wonder, they didn't simply try to resolve the matter amicably.
But the legal manoeuvre doesn't seem to have caused too many hurt feelings among Beauty's competitors.
Bagel Etc., for one, says it will accede to Beauty's requests, including the donation to the JGH.
And a new name for their dish will be announced by the end of the month.
"It's just the right thing to do to honour their trademark," said Bagel Etc. co-owner Simon Rosson.