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USA: Halal Guys food cart ‘Guys’ win lawsuit

| 01/09/2014 | Reply

By Dareh Gregorian, New York Daily News

David Handschuh/New York Daily News Abdelbaset Elsayed, left, and Mohamed Abouelenein outside their restaurant, due to open Saturday, at E. 14th St. and Second Ave.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News Abdelbaset Elsayed, left, and Mohamed Abouelenein outside their restaurant

Under the terms of the deal, Halal Guys of New York has five days to ‘dispose of any signs, banners, promotional or advertising items’ that look like the original Halal Guys signage and branding.

There’s peace in the Middle East — in the Middle Eastern food cart wars, that is.

The operators of the popular Halal Guys food stand and restaurant have beaten a knockoff food business that had been calling itself Halal Guys of New York.

The Halal Guys had argued in federal court last month that the counterfeit carts were trying to cash in on their hard work and reputation.

Their suit said the Halal Guys of New York had been brazenly moving in on their turf — operating one food cart near the Halal Guys’ longtime stand at Sixth Avenue and 53rd St., and another on 14th St., where the Halal Guys just opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Under the terms of the deal, Halal Guys of New York has five days to “dispose of any signs, banners, promotional or advertising items (including food containers and bags) that bear the mark the Halal Guys, or any colorable imitation.”

Halal Guys of New York’s lawyer, Ehab Moustafa, said his clients surrendered because they can’t afford to fight.

“My client doesn’t have the money,” he said. “He decided it’s not worth it for him to continue.”

On the other side, the original Halal Guys — Egyptian immigrants Mohamed Abouelenein and Abdelbaset Elsayed, who spent 20 years expanding from a single Midtown food cart to a freestanding restaurant downtown — are poised for international greatness.

Abouelenein, 59, and Elsayed, 51, opened their E. 14th St. restaurant in June — but are also working with the same franchise company that turned Five Guys Burgers and Fries into a nationwide chain. The goal is to license the Halal Guys name.

“For me, the (East Village restaurant) is not my aim,” Abouelenein told the Daily News earlier this summer. “This is just the first step. I am imagining something bigger than this.”

So does Dan Rowe, founder of Fransmart, who wants to expand Halal Guys.

“Halal food is going to become the new standard,” he told The News. “There are already a zillion burger brands.”

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Category: Halal Integrity, Restaurants, The Americas, USA

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