Laurent Tourondel Owns the BLT (The Name, Not the Sandwich)


Who would have thought the acronym BLT would be so controversial? Really, can you really own the trademark to the ubiquitous sandwich? Apparently so. Crain’s delves into the legal battle between chef Laurent Tourondel and his ex-business partner Jimmy Haber. The Frenchman has won the right to open restaurants bearing the acronym BLT (that’s “Bistro Laurent Tourondel” and not “Bacon Lettuce Tomato,” mind you), but the men are still fighting over the right to cook with Twinkies. Yes, Twinkies.

According to the report, lawyers claimed that Tourondel’s LT Burger Twinkie shake was too similar to BLT Burger’s Twinkie Boy. The judge, clearly a man of intelligence, ruled, “Your guy didn’t make up Twinkies. A Twinkie is a Twinkie.”

In any event, the dudes are sort of moving on. Neither can replicate the BLT restaurants, since Haber owns and operates those restaurants, and Tourondel now owns the trademark, nixing the ability for expansion. But Tourondel plans to launch BLT American Brasserie at the Cassa Hotel and Residences this autumn, and Haber’s Casa Nonna will debut this week. It most likely won’t serve Twinkies.