UPPER EAST SIDE — Eat your heart out, Vegas.
The owners of a beloved New York Jewish deli won the right in court to keep their wacky 'Instant Heart Attack Sandwich' on the menu more than a year after a Southwestern burger chain sued them for copyright infringement.
The kosher creations by the 2nd Avenue Deli, which has been a city institution since opening initially in the East Village 56 years ago, were different enough from the oversized, lard-cooked cheeseburgers and fries prepared by the Nevada-based Heart Attack Grill to avoid customer confusion, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer said in his ruling.
The Las Vegas-based Heart Attack Grill, which had been in business since 2005, sued the classic New York deli in May of 2011, saying the deli's Heart Attack Sandwich, and planned Triple Bypass Sandwich were ripping off the burger chain's name and Triple and Quadruple Bypass Burger menu items.
The deli, which shuttered over rising rents after 50 years in the East Village, reopened in Murray Hill soon after, and last year opened a second location on the Upper East Side.
A co-owner, Joshua Lebowohl, said that the restaurant would begin selling the long-planned Triple Bypass Sandwich, a $35 pile of sliced deli meat made up of corned beef, pastrami, salami or turkey, and three latkes on Friday, according to Reuters.
The Heart Attack Grill, which was founded in Arizona before the first location closed its doors, was allowed to retain "unbridled use of its trademarks" throughout the U.S., the judge ruled.
No owners or managers at the 2nd Avenue Deli were immediately available for comment Saturday.
The Las Vegas company did not respond immediately to requests for comment.