DOWNERS GROVE – The Giordano's Pizza chain is suing a Downers Grove deli and pizzeria that opened with the same name last month.
The popular Chicago-area pizza chain filed the lawsuit Aug. 28 seeking damages from the deli, Giordano Fresh & Crispy Pizza Co., for using the similar name and trademarks on its sign and promotional materials.
The deli opened last month at 2021 Ogden Ave. in Downers Grove, less than two miles from the Giordano's Pizza franchise at 5115 Main St.
The deli offers pizza, subs, sandwiches, salads and catering.
Giordano's claims that the unauthorized use of its name "caused and will continue to cause confusion in the marketplace."
The lawsuit cites one customer who emailed Giordano's after eating at the deli, believing it was a franchise location.
"The pizza was horrible,” the Aug. 25 email allegedly said.
The customer also noted that the defendant’s menu stapled to the pizza box “looked like your logo” and that it was “a little too close for comfort.”
Giordano Fresh & Crispy Pizza Co. owner Nick Giordano declined comment when reached by phone on Monday.
The owner of the Giordano's franchise location on Main Street, Dino Alexakos, said he was worried when he saw a flyer for the new deli that there would be "mass confusion."
"I don't know what would have happened if someone did a Google search for 'Giordano's in Downers Grove' – who would have come up?" he said.
The lawsuit, filed by Giordano's corporate office, also claims that text on the bottom of the deli's menu, stating "Not affiliated with Giordano's Pizza," shows the owner was aware he was infringing on the famous chain's name.
The lawsuit asks the deli to remove "Giordano" from all signage, advertisements, brochures and other promotional material. The suit also requests triple the amount of damages suffered by Giordano's along with all profits made by the deli.
It also asks for reimbursement for legal fees, any necessary corrective advertising and other damages.
After the filing of the lawsuit, all signage using the name "Giordano" was removed from the front of the business. The door was locked Thursday, despite an "Open" sign in the window.
The business is also referred to as Giordano Delicatessen in the lawsuit.