PHILADELPHIA, (UPI) — The owner of a Philadelphia lunch counter at a public market said the U.S. Olympic Committee is forcing him to remove the word “Olympic” from its name.
Athens Voulgaridis, whose family bought the Olympic Gyro eatery at Reading Terminal Market in 1984, said he received a cease-and-desist e-mail from the U.S. Olympic Committee June 7 demanding he remove the word “Olympic” from the lunch counter’s name, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday.
The e-mail cited a 1978 law granting the USOC all U.S. commercial use of Olympic imagery and terminology, including the word “Olympic.” The representative who sent the e-mail said the committee only recently learned of the eatery.
“‘Olympic’ has been around forever; you can’t just buy a name,” Voulgaridis said. “They don’t have a right to do that, but I’m not going to fight the government.”
Voulgaridis said he decided to comply with the USOC, which said in a follow-up letter it would give the business until the end of 2013 to change its name, and re-dub the lunch counter Olympia Gyro, a name that won the approval of USOC officials.
The owner said he expects it to cost about $6,000 to change the eatery’s signs and employee uniforms.