A new, high-profile sandwich shop in Fort Lauderdale made a late sub — as in “substitution” — rather than go through the legal grinder of federal court amid a complaint of trademark infringement.
Earlier this month, the Proper Sandwich Shop changed its name to Henry’s Sandwich Station. The switch came after months of advance marketing and publicity of the Proper Sandwich name and just weeks before the eatery’s scheduled Feb. 14 opening in the artsy Fat Village district. Henry’s Sandwich Station is being launched by JEY Hospitality Group, the same outfit behind ROK:BRGR, PizzaCraft and TacoCraft.
In December, the owners of Proper Sausages, a well-regarded Miami Shores sandwich shop and meat purveyor, filed suit against JEY Hospitality in Miami federal court. The complaint claimed that the name Proper Sandwich was “confusingly similar” and sought to block JEY from using it. The suit also sought damages and the destruction of all items with the Proper Sandwich name and logo.
After initially denying the change was related to a legal issue in an interview last week, JEY Hospitality co-founder Marc Falsetto said the following day that he could not discuss the pending lawsuit. He said he had been contemplating a name switch for some time and that the name Henry’s Sandwich Station was a nod to rail baron Henry Flagler and the new Brightline commuter trains running nearby.
“We’re in Flagler Village, and we’re near the new train station, so it seemed fitting,” Falsetto says. “We’d hear the Brightline doing test runs every day while we were testing recipes and we were like, ‘How many times will this thing go by?’ ”
No matter the merits of a case, restaurateurs generally prefer to avoid long and costly legal fights. Proper Sausages co-owner Frederick Kaufmann said Monday that he was aware that JEY Hospitality had made the name switch and declined additional comment. Kaufmann’s attorney, Joe Anderson, also declined comment, saying the case was “at a sensitive stage.” That is typically an indication that a formal signed settlement is pending and the case will soon be resolved.
Proper Sausages started at the Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood in 2011 and gained recognition for its artisanal sausages and butcher products after moving to a brick-and-mortar store. It now provides products to many restaurants throughout South Florida, including the Fort Lauderdale-based Be Nice restaurant group (Coconuts, Foxy Brown) and recently launched Proper Meats and Delicacies, an offshoot that will focus on wholesale and retail distribution.
According to the lawsuit, Proper Sausages sent Proper Sandwich a cease-and-desist letter in March 2017 when JEY Hospitality announced the launch of its craft sandwich concept. JEY moved forward with the Proper Sandwich name until this month.
Henry’s Sandwich Station, at 545 NW First Ave., will feature regional specialty sandwiches and fresh baked goods, and will be open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily (10 a.m-5 p.m. Sundays). Some ingredients will be housemade and others will be brought in from top local and national purveyors. Charcuterie will be from Olympia Provisions of Portland, Ore., Falsetto says, the first South Florida restaurant to feature the highly regarded product. Coffee will be from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Bread will come from Miami’s Zak the Baker and Fort Lauderdale’s Gran Forno.
A Philadelphia-inspired roasted pork sandwich will feature heritage pork shoulder, sharp provolone, broccoli rabe, long hot peppers and shaved pecorino. A South Florida Cubano will feature heritage pork shoulder, Olympia Previsions sweetheart ham, sweet and spicy McClure's pickles, baby Swiss, Dijonnaise on a pressed baguette. Other sandwiches include a BLT with Nueske’s bacon and truffle mayonnaise, Montreal-style smoked meat on Zak the Baker rye and slow-roasted prime rib with horseradish cream sauce.
Menu items will cost $8 to $14 and will feature breakfast sandwiches, artisan toasts, pies and daily specials. The restaurant will seat 50, with communal seating and a large courtyard next to the train tracks.