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LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW OF WOLFGANG PUCK BY FRANK MOTTEK (Aired on KNX1070 AM May 14th 2008)

Wolfgang vs. Wolfgang

by Sophie Gayot

Surely, you've heard the movie cliché, "This town ain't big enough for the both of us." When it comes to the competitive Beverly Hills restaurant world, it seems that this town ain't big enough for two Wolfgangs.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, whose restaurant Spago has been honored on GAYOT.com's Top 40 U.S. Restaurant list for four years in a row, has filed a trademark infringement and unfair competition suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the owners and operators of Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener.

The suit alleges that restaurateur Zwiener had previously agreed to feature his full name "Wolfgang Zwiener" were he to open any restaurants outside of New York City, where he already owns two Wolfgang's Steakhouses. However, since the new restaurant's sign displays the "by Wolfgang Zwiener" in smaller print, the suit claims that the owners have not made enough effort to prevent a case of mistaken identity.

Adding to the confusion between the restaurants is the Beverly Hills location of Wolfgang's Steakhouse, which is found on North Canon Drive (the same street as Spago) within blocks of Wolfgang Puck's own steakhouse CUT (on our 10 Best New Restaurants list in 2007). "People have come to me and asked why I was opening another steakhouse in Beverly Hills and whether I am going to close CUT," said Puck. "I tell them the new steakhouse has nothing to do with me and they stare in disbelief. The most common reaction is, 'It says 'Wolfgang's Steakhouse' and you are Wolfgang.'"

Let's hope the two Wolfgangs settle things in court, and not in a duel involving steak knives!

Below is the list of the restaurants mentioned in the article.

LOS ANGELES

CUT Steakhouse
15/20
Dining Room at CUT, Beverly Hills, CA The Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel)
9500 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Menu | Photo | Video
Wolfgang Puck’s modern, elegant steakhouse at the Beverly Wilshire is frequented by the movers and shakers of Los Angeles. More...

Spago Beverly Hills California
16/20
Dining Room at Spago Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA 176 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Menu | Photo | Video
Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant features a new look and menu with a slightly more contemporary approach. More...

Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener Steakhouse
14/20
Dining Room at Wolfgang 445 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Menu | Photo
Wolfgang Zwiener brings his traditional New York steakhouse to Beverly Hills. More...

Read and listen to more interviews with Frank Mottek on Gayot.com.
For more restaurants in Los Angeles Area, go to L.A. Restaurant page.
For more events, see our Los Angeles What's Going On page.

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