NORTHEAST LONDON’S hottest restaurant launch in years has been followed only months later by a dispute so tasty it will make lawyers salivate just thinking about the likely fat fees.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, presenting itself as one of the best in the world, opened a pizza house in Stoke Newington earlier this year to noisy fanfare, queues along Church Street and gushing praise by food critics, few of whom mentioned that the N16 set-up was a franchise, not a branch.
The Neapolitan original became an international tourist draw when the heroine of a chick-lit novel that became a Hollywood movie bathed it in glutinous words of praise, inevitably reproduced on a wall of the Stokey venue.
Now a legal clash is under way between the company, owned by Serena, Gennaro and Vania Sarnataro, that runs the N16 venue, and the original parent company.
A third company opened a L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Baker Street, off Euston Road, last week, and that is alleged by a complainant to be in breach of its contractual agreement.
The case is heading for court in Italy.
Just how good is the first L’Antica? Loving Dalston’s Neapolitan associates say it is undoubtedly considered “one of the greatest pizzerias”. Just remember, however, the others around the world are franchises, not owned by the Naples original.
A few km south of the Stokey caff another row has broken out around Proud East, the restaurant formerly known as the Proud Archivist on the Regent’s Canal in Haggerston. This one involves the three brothers with links to the business, and the courts.
The venue, a mini-cultural centre, became a huge attraction for femillennial singletons, who regular filled the resto’s lecture theatre, to hang on comedian-actor Russell Brand’s spattered-out words when he gave a series of talks (or were they plugs for his My Booky Wook?)
Hamish Scott 041217
* Backstory: Russell Brand nicks centre stage in Hackney
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