Francis Ford Coppola is suing the owners of Tavola Italian Kitchen restaurant at the Hamilton Marketplace claiming the restaurant’s name infringes on his trademarked phrase — “a tavola” — used to market his eateries, according to an article in Bloomberg on Thursday.
“A tavola” means “to the table” and according to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery website it is used to describe a casual dining experience where instead of ordering off a menu, a variety of dishes are prepared by the chef and sent to your table.
The “a tavola” concept is a Tuesday evening tradition at Coppola’s Rustic restaurant in Geyserville and is promoted on the company website, absent any symbols denoting that the phrase is a registered trademark.
Tavola Italian Kitchen -- in the Hamilton Marketplace on Nave Drive -- started out as Pasta Moto in 2009 and and menus in May 2011. Tavola is owned by the Pirraglia family — a restaurant group from Norwalk, Conn. — under the name TORG Holdings, Inc. The group also owns a Pasta Moto at the San Francisco Centre.
The patriarch of the family, Anthony Pirraglia, is quoted in the Bloomberg article as saying that the word “tavola” is generic and widely used in the restaurant business. A quick web search revealed at least 20 restaurants with a variation on the name.
Michael Pirraglia, the vice president of TORG Holdings, oversaw the Pasta Moto opening and said in an e-mail to Novato Patch that his brother Jon Paul Pirraglia and sister-in-law Danielle have spearheaded the changeover at the nearly year-old Tavola restaurant.
Pirraglia added he believes Tavola will continue to remain a favorite in Marin.
In a recent rave review in North Bay Bohemian, the writer expressed surprise that such a quality Italian eatery makes its home in a Novato shopping mall.