The Real Deal New York

Aby Rosen, Four Seasons Restaurant owners warring over trademark

Leaving 375 Park in July, the iconic eatery owners registered the Pool Room and Grill Room

February 10, 2016 12:30PM

Four Seasons Restaurant

The Four Seasons Restaurant at 375 Park Avenue (inset: Aby Rosen)

A trademark tiff is brewing between the Four Seasons Restaurant owners and their soon-to-be former landlord Aby Rosen, owner of the Seagram Building.

Classic Restaurants, which owns the iconic eatery, trademarked the names of the Pool Room and the Grill Room last year when it realized it would no longer have a home at 375 Park Avenue, the New York Post reported.

Alex Von Bidder and Julian Niccolini, the faces of the restaurant, own Classic along with Edgar and Matthew Bronfman, whose family developed the tower.

“Four Seasons” has been trademarked since 1959, when it opened in the Seagram Building, and Classic has registered the four seasonal trees logo and names as a “mark” in order to associate it with cooking and prepared foods — such as Niccolini’s pastas and tomato sauce.

But Rosen also wanted to use the names Grill Room and Pool Room, but Von Bidder told him that would be a problem.

Whatever new restaurant takes over the space, it won’t be using the Four Seasons name — the least of Rosen’s concerns. Last fall, the RFR Holding co-founder launched a campaign to raise $30 million for a new high-end eatery, which will be operated by restaurateurs Mario Carbone, Jeff Zalaznick and Rich Torrisi. Rosen is seeking as many as 100 partners to invest at least $300,000.

Annabelle Selldorf will restore the two landmarked interiors of the Pool Room and Grill Room while Peter Marino will redesign the Brasserie space, which is not landmarked. A former office manager at Marino’s firm is suing the leather-clad designer for unfair dismissal and accused him of being sexist, racist and offensive.

The Four Seasons officially leaves its home of 56 years on at the end of July. There is no word yet where it will move, but there has been speculation it might take space at Fosun International’s 28 Liberty Street office tower in the Financial District. [NYP, 2nd]Dusica Sue Malesevic