You may recall that in the summer of 2009, The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. opened in Florida with an elaborate water filtration system (enclosed behind a glass wall in the restaurant) that was said to replicate water that flows from the tap in Brooklyn, thereby giving the bagels that distinctive NYC flavor and texture. "By the time it gets past our systems, it's Brooklyn water," declared the man who built the filtration system. But the bagels have proven so popular that now another company is using the system to make "authentic 'New York Style' pizza," and the owner of the bagel company is suing.
Steve Fassberg, a former Flatbush resident who owns the Palm Beach bagel company, is selling franchises for new Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Companies to open in Miami Beach and Beverly Hills. The Sun Sentinel reports that his father-in-law, Donald Kurtzer, helped him create the water filtration system, but left the company earlier this year to form the Famous New York Baking Water Corp. That company sold the filtration system to Mamma Mia's Trattoria & Brick Oven Pizzeria, which is also in Palm Beach county, and over the summer Mamma Mia's became the "first to offer authentic 'New York Style' pizza, using our unique water system."
Fassberg sued his father-in-law in May for misappropriating trade secrets and trademark infringement; they settled out of court when his father-in-law agreed not to disclose the older company's secret water treatment formula. But he had already sold the system to Mamma Mia's, and now Brooklyn Water Bagel is suing the restaurant in state court. And Mamma Mia's owner is suing Brooklyn Water Bagel, claiming the company is illegally using the word "patented" in its advertising "because some of the patents involved in the water treatment gadgetry have expired, while others aren't key to the filtering process." But if they really want to show who's got the most "authentic" Brooklyn style they should just skip the lawsuits and cut straight to burning down each other's businesses.