The owner of Dallas restaurant Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine has agreed to permanently change the establishment’s name following the settlement of a lawsuit.
The new name of the Oak Lawn Avenue restaurant will be Barsotti’s Fine Foods & Liqueurs, named after owner Julian Barsotti.
In 2022, Barsotti sued the Italian restaurant Carbone, alleging the similar name in Dallas was confusing customers and harming his business.
People would search for one restaurant and arrive at Carbone instead of Carbone’s, or vice versa, according to The Dallas Morning News. Deliveries and mail sometimes got sent to the wrong place.
Even negative Yelp reviews aimed at Carbone reportedly wound up on the page for Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine instead.
The restaurant sued by Barsotti had opened in March 2022 in Dallas but also has locations in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and Hong Kong. Barsotti’s restaurant is family owned and has been around for 10 years.
The lawsuit and surrounding debates were dubbed “the great Texas red sauce wars.” Even though Barsotti may have had a strong case, his attorney said it was wise to change the name.
“You’re going to end up spending more money to keep your name than you’d get in a settlement,” said attorney Matthew Yarbrough.
Barsotti eventually took his lawyer’s advice and conceded. He then left the name change up to an online vote. Barsotti’s eventually won 36% of the vote, with Paesan coming in second at 34%.
“This name communicates continuity — that it’s the same people — better than any of those other names could have,” Barsotti said following the announcement.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Barsotti and Jeff Zalaznick, the co-founder of Carbone’s parent company Major Food Group, have reportedly even become friends in the process.
The new Barsotti’s closed on January 1 for a renovation. The restaurant will add a bar, expand its food menu, and create a cocktail menu. Barsotti has signed another 10-year lease affirming his commitment to the old restaurant with a new name.
Following the name change, the restaurant’s retail section, which offered Italian specialties like Sunday gravy meatballs, marinara sauce, ravioli, and lasagna, will be sold at Barsotti’s other restaurant, Nonna.