Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brixx Versus Brix, and Lots of Pizza in Charlottesville

Brix Marketplace is out on Route 50, past Monticello; I had not realized this but there's also one on Pantops.

About a month ago it was announced that Brixx Wood Fired Pizza is opening up shop in the Boston Market space at Barracks Road. (As a side note, it's curious that Boston Market is shutting down, but I think that's been an ongoing national trend ... where did that company go wrong? It seems like they were out-in-front on the issue of mixing fast food and non-fast food, but the operation in Charlottesville did always seem a bit haphazard -- was it poor franchise oversight?).

At any rate, Brixx is a Charlotte-based franchise (the first one opened in '98) with 13 restaurants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It looks like they primarily locate in college towns (although their logo is rather bizarre - seems to be aiming for the Chuck E. Cheese crowd more than the hip college-aged kids).

Dave McNair, who has been writing more and more articles for The Hook and whose journalism I really like, reports here that Brixx demanded Brix cease using the overly-similar name, and Brix has agreed to do so. McNair says that Brix owner Karen Laetare is frustrated but made the decision that litigating the possibility that she holds a common law trademark would be too costly.

There's lots of commentary in the Comments section of McNair's article (during the past year, The Hook has definitely become the "go to" spot for reader feedback on Charlottesville controversies), and the vast majority of commenters are critical of the out-of-towners pushing around the local businesspeople who'd spent years building up the value of the Brix name.

I went for a run yesterday morning and discovered that the new pizza place in the Frys Springs Service Station is much further along than I'd thought. I think that place is also going to be gourmet pizza -- and then there's another new gourmet pizza place on The Corner. This is an embarrasment of riches for this particular pizza lover (especially since I'm already enjoying Rise, C'Ville's previous most-recent new pizza place) - what is causing the proliferation of new pizza restaurants in town?

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