FnB fans were all atwitter 10 days ago after news broke that Charleen Badman and Pavle Milic were leaving Stetson Drive to move their beloved restaurant over to Craftsman Court.
The move made sense. Rent was cheaper and they'd have all their businesses under one roof. But then word got out that FnB's landlord, Peter Kasperski, was planning to keep the name FnB. That sounded a little crazy. First of all, Kasperski has two neighboring businesses with perfectly good names -- Cowboy Ciao and Kazimieriz World Wine Bar. Why would he want this one? And why would Badman and Milic -- who've worked hard to gain a national reputation for their little spot -- want to give it up?
Bottom line: Who owns the name?
The public records Chow Bella reviewed don't offer a definitive answer. FnB's duo isn't talking -- but Kasperski is. Chow Bella caught up with him to find out what his plans are.
In a phone interview, Kasperski says, "I came up with the name and I like it. I want to keep it and reserve it for future use -- possibly for something out of town." He went on to explain that he and his new GM Richard Furnari are being courted by people in San Diego for a Kasperski-inspired restaurant concept there.
"We're just talking right now; there's nothing definitive yet," Kasperski says, adding that he intends to "let it percolate" a bit and that he and Furnari are planning a reconnaissance trip to San Diego shortly.
Kasperski, who asserts that "we're partners" and "the split is amicable," clearly believes that he is legally entitled to the name FnB, adding that he anticipates Badman and Milic "will be wildly successful" without it. He does allude to the reason behind his decision to claim the name -- and it has something to do with an early departure by the FnB folks.
"FnB is not about the name," Kasperski says. "It's about Pavle and Charleen. I don't want to trick their guests into thinking it's the same restaurant. But we had an agreement, and I let them out of that agreement early because they were on a different timetable. That's fine. I told them, 'Take what's yours and I'll keep what's mine.'"
Clearly, the most important "what's mine" is the name.