Photo by Robin Wheeler
Food-dealer and defendant: Mangia Mobile gets sued by Mangia Italiano
After months of legal wrangling, Mangia Italiano (3145 South Grand Blvd; 314-664-8585)
, the 28-year-old Italian restaurant on South Grand, is now suing the unaffiliated food truck, Mangia Mobile
According to the petition
, filed Thursday in St. Louis City Circuit Court, the four-wheeled newcomer has harmed the reputation of the brick-and-mortar eatery by having a "deceptively similar" name while selling "food products of a significantly lower quality and variety." This "causes confusion," while in fact the two companies have nothing to do with each other.
And therein lies the conflict: Some folks are
confused about who owns what -- including Alive
magazine, which erroneously reported
in March that the truck belonged to the South Grand eatery.
In reality, Mangia Mobile belongs to three young siblings: Catherine
and Alex Daake
. Inspired by their Sicilian grandmother, Macaw, their on-the-go menu
includes sandwiches, toasted ravioli and arancini
(described as "The Street Food of Sicily, deep-fried riceballs filled with pulled chicken, hamburger and mozzarella").
March 16, the Daakes received a cease-and-desist letter from the
restaurant's attorney, who requested they "revise" their marketing
strategy (read the letter here
). The siblings didn't immediately
respond, so a week-and-a-half later, the attorney hand-delivered a copy
to the food truck.
The Daakes then got their own attorney and
agreed to affix a disclaimer sign to their vehicle denying any
connection to Mangia Italiano (read the response here
it appears, was not satisfied. Evanti
, the parent company
of Mangia Italiano and the plaintiff in this case, is asking the court
for a permanent injunction, actual damages and punitive damages.
Allegations in the complaint
include unfair competition and trademark
, this ain't a federal dispute.
Evanti actually applied for a federal trademark for the name "Mangia Italiano" in March but got denied.
Their legal action is "common-law trademark infringement" under
Alongside the petition, Evanti has also filed a handful of affidavits from Mangia Italiano owners Collier Evans
and James Bonsanti
, who claim that confusion reigns among vendors, customersand even the restaurant's own servers. One server signed a statement, recounting how she herself believed the truck was an arm of her restaurant.
The matter is styled Evantigroup, LLC v. Mangia Mobile LLC; Case Number: 1122-CC08862.
: (Monday, July 25, 3:44 p.m.) Mangia Mobile addressed the lawsuit on Twitter shortly after this article was posted. -- Ian