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What a Difference a Di Makes: 2 Restaurants Reach a Truce

September 11, 1986|BOB POOL | Times Staff Writer

Too many cooks spoil the broth. And too many "Gennaro's" spoil the Italian restaurant business, a pair of restaurateurs have decided.

Gennaro's Restaurant in Woodland Hills has changed its name to avoid confusion with Gennaro's Ristorante in Glendale--and settle a $250,000 lawsuit.

The Woodland Hills restaurant will call itself Di Gennaro from now on, its owners said Monday.

The dispute over the Gennaro's name had simmered like tomato sauce since the two restaurants opened within months of each other in 1984.

Gennaro's in Glendale complained that it was losing customers to Gennaro's in Woodland Hills.

Gennaro's in Woodland Hills complained it was losing food deliveries trucked by mistake to Gennaro's in Glendale.

Offered to Pay Cost

The Glendale restaurant offered to pay the Woodland Hills one $1,500 to cover the expense of a name change, but the Woodland Hills Gennaro's held out for $8,500.

That led to the lawsuit filed by Gennaro Rosato, who said he named his Glendale restaurant after himself when he opened it in January, 1984.

Santino DeFelice, who said he named the Woodland Hills restaurant after his father when it opened in July, 1984, vowed to fight the suit on grounds that Gennaro is a common name for an Italian restaurant.

The two restaurants cooked up the settlement before Gennaro vs. Gennaro reached the courtroom.

"Money talks," DeFelice said. "They paid me. They gave me what we wanted."

$6,000 Settlement

DeFelice said the $6,000 settlement will cover the cost of adding "Di" to outdoor advertising signs and to a canopy at the Ventura Boulevard eatery and removing the possessive "s."

The final touches to the name change--new menus and matchbook covers--will come when those items are ordered and printed, he said.

"There's more confusion now than there was before. But our food won't change," the Woodland Hills restaurateur said.

Rosato said the "Di" will make a difference.

"It will clarify 90% of the problem," he said. "It will resolve the confusion."

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