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Another San Francisco Restaurant Is Tangled Up in Trademark Drama, This Time Over Cheeseboats

Plus, acclaimed pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani is taking his talents to the frozen food aisle and more food news

A cheeseboat.
The Georgian cheeseboat is at the heart of San Francisco’s newest food world trademark drama.
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Little did Shalva Dzotsenidze know that when he opened his North Beach Georgian restaurant Cheeseboat in February, he’d draw the legal ire of a New York businesswoman. Netty Davit’ashvili founded two Georgian restaurants also called Cheeseboat in the Big Apple, and she’s threatening to sue Dzotsenidze over trademark infringement — only the most recent of a spate of intellectual property issues in the city’s food scene as of late. The San Francisco Standard reports Davit’ashvili secured the trademark for the business name six years ago. The new North Beach restaurant’s name “doesn’t sit with me well,” she told the outlet.

According to the Standard, Dzotsenidze received a letter from the New Yorker’s lawyer “threatening” a civil lawsuit given one of trademark law’s central tenants, likelihood of confusion. So far, Dzotsenidze contends a San Francisco business and a New York business couldn’t be confused, while Davit’ashvili, perhaps obviously, contends they could. In the case of both restaurants, the word “cheeseboat” refers to the dish khachapuri, a Georgian stuffed bread with an egg and butter combo that looks a bit like a sailboat.

Former Noosh chefs plan new Presidio restaurant

Chefs Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz, known from their stints at Fillmore restaurant Noosh, will open a Mediterranean restaurant in the Presidio. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the still-unnamed restaurant will take over Building 101, the former Commissary location, on the Presidio’s Main Parade Lawn.

SoMa sushi restaurant set to close

Say goodbye to an omakase destination as yet another Mins Group restaurant will close on March 13. The San Francisco Standard reports this time its Sushi Ondo, following Banzu in the Tenderloin, which closed at the end of December. No reason was given for the most recent closure.

Beloved San Francisco pizza chef launches into the frozen food aisle

Now that Luke’s Local is open in North Beach, it was the ideal time for chef Tony Gemignani’s highly-decorated pizzeria Tony’s Pizza to make the leap into the grocery market. The pizzeria will offer four of its 12 pies as take-home options out of the grocery store including a New Yorker style and a veggie pie. The pizzas only need somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes to be ready for an at-home Neapolitan experience.

That cheesecake partnership in San Francisco is off

To the surprise and dismay of Basuku owner Charles Chen, that swap from Palo Alto to San Francisco won’t happen right away after all. In an Instagram announcement, Chen told fans that an 11th-hour cancellation will prevent him from keeping his Japanese-style Basque cheesecakes firing for the time being. That said, after a baking trip to Japan, Chen says he’ll be back and exploring what’s in store for Basuku’s future.