Ditmas Park

Eleven-7 Caves Under Corporate Pressure, Rebrands As NY’s Best

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Workers replace the Eleven-7 sign at 560 Coney Island Avenue at Beverley Road. (Photo by Gordon Rothman)

What’s in a name? Apparently, for a neighborhood bodega fighting against an incoming corporate giant, a name means a lot.

After a protracted, legal trademark battle, Coney Island Avenue’s longstanding Eleven 7 Food Mart at Beverley Road quietly changed their sign earlier this week. A store employee told BKLYNER that the change was a direct result of a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the cattycorner 7-Eleven.

7-Eleven’s lawyers filed the suit with the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn last year, claiming that the bodega owners deliberately tried to “deceive consumers” by ripping off corporate branding.

The bodega is now called NY Best Food Mart. (Photo by Carly Miller/BKLYNER)

But Eleven-7’s manager Amjad Baig denied the claims when we spoke to him last year, arguing that they pre-dated the chain by at least two decades, and the name similarity was purely coincidental. The 7-Eleven opened on the block in 2013.

Baig said they would fight the lawsuit and, in the meantime, display their sign proudly. But when we stopped in yesterday, an employee shrugged his shoulders.

The corporation has more money and more lawyers, the employee said, painting them as the David to 7-Eleven’s Goliath.

Inside, the store looks exactly the same.

The old Eleven-7 sat cattycorner to the newer 7-Eleven chain which opened in 2013. Behind them you can see the new, almost-completed apartment towers near Hinckley. (Photo by Carly Miller/BKLYNER)

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first store to lose their name to an incoming national brand on that very street, pointed out reader Greg Rothman. More than a decade ago, two fried chicken places jockeyed between similar names.

In what is now Madina Restaurant at 563 Coney Island Avenue, a restaurant called itself ‘Kantacky Fried Chicken’. But this greasy spoon stood a few storefronts away from the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken, which property records indicate opened in 2002. “Those A’s on the sign clearly looked like an afterthought,” Rothman said.

Madina’s owners also say they opened around 2002, so it’s unclear if there was any overlap between the competing chicken joints. Does anyone know which opened first?

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4 COMMENTS

  1. My dad opened both stores and made the names as a joke. Look up Ahsin Choudhry on google. You might find some old articles.

  2. Look you may despise large corporations but copyright law gives them the right to protect their name. Eleven-7 would have saved itself a headache if this change had been made a year ago. And why do you characterize 7-Eleven as an evil villain when the law is on its side? I support local business but as a retired litigator I know this was stubborn foolishness.

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