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Heart Attack Sandwiches Fighting for Rights in New York

It’s a fight to keep your cholesterol up.   The 2nd Ave Deli is fighting to keep the name on one of their more famous sandwiches.   This near 60 year old establishment in Manhattan is getting heat — not just from its kitchen — but from an Arizona grill called the Heart Attack Grill.

Sandwich Suing

It appears that the Heart Attack Grill is trying to sue the 2nd Ave Deli for trademark violation.   The 2nd Ave Deli has been warned that it needs to stop serving its “Instant Heart Attack Sandwich” or face legal action for violating trademark laws.

The Arizona grill has won similar court victories in the past, while trying to protect its brand and its fat-guzzling name.

No Need for Confusion

The Manhattan deli, however, has asked a federal judge to declare that its kosher sandwich is not, in any way, an imitation of those in Arizona.   They argue that there is simply no reason for concern, since confusion for customers is nearly impossible.   Since the 2nd Ave Deli is kosher, there is “no likelihood of confusion” since the foods at the two eateries “could not be more different.”   Therefore, they’ve asked the judge to declare that they didn’t violate the Arizona restaurant’s trademark by using the same theme for their sandwich’s name.

The 2nd Ave Deli’s sandwich called “Instant Heart Attack Sandwich” is made of potato latkes piled with corned beef, pastrami, turkey or salami.   The Heart Attack Grill’s sandwich called the “Triple Bypass Burger” in Arizona is made of cheese on top of meat patties that weight 1.5 pounds.

Certainly, the sandwiches are far apart in design, if not in name.   Time with tell if the 2nd Ave Deli is allowed to continue selling their sandwich, or if they will have a heart attack with the ruling against them.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)gowanuslounge.com.