Fry Dustup: Pommes Frites Says Jersey ‘Copycat’ Is ‘Unethical’

Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Yesterday the Hoboken Patch alerted us to Fresh Pommes Frites, the new double-fried frites stand in Jersey. Owner Chuck Seergy was so quick to compare it to the Pommes Frites in Manhattan (“[Hoboken] has so many people who are like the people who walk along Second Avenue in New York,” he said) that we thought both were related. Our bad! Omer Shorshi, a partner in the East Village store, called us to clarify: “The group is trying to copycat us. They took our menu.” Shorshi says he was friendly with one of the owners and was even asked to partner in the project. “They tried to push us to be a partner, but we decided not to,” Shorshi tells us. “Now they’re trying to completely capitalize on our business. Their name isn’t Pommes Frites; they changed it to Fresh Pommes Frites — it’s to confuse people.”

Shorshi says he’s in the process of trying to copyright the name Pommes Frites, though he admits it’s hard to do so. Still, he wasn’t happy to hear of the new store’s name. “I talked to one of the owners and told him to change it. I told him that it’s unethical and to change his name please.” He never heard back, and the business opened with a menu that Shorshi says is pretty much the same as his own. “Most of the sauces are the same as my sauces, and the pictures that he put on his website, he took it in my restaurant and used the same [serving] size. He’s doing exactly the same thing.” So does he plan to take legal action? It doesn’t seem like it at the moment, but Shorshi plans to talk to a lawyer. “Some people are like that— I’m not going to lose sleep on it. But I’m protective of my business also.”

For the record, Pommes Frites has no plans to expand. The owners of Fresh Pommes Frites weren’t available for comment when we called; we’ll let you know if they have more to say. In the meantime, take a look at both menus and tell us what you think.

Pommes Frites Sauces

1. Vietnamese Pineapple Mayo
2. Roasted Garlic Mayo
3. Rosemary Garlic Mayo
4. Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo
5. Honey Mustard Mayo
6. Wasabi Mayo
7. Sundried Tomato Mayo
8. Horseradish Mayo
9. Pesto Mayo
10. Dill Lemon Mayo
11. Smoked Eggplant Mayo
12. Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayo
13. Parmesan Peppercorn
14. Blue Cheese
15. Cheddar Cheese
16. Peanut Satay
17. Mexican Ketchup
18. Curry Ketchup
19. Dijon Mustard
20. Barbecue
21. Sweet Chilli
22. Sambal Olek hot chilli paste
23. War Sauce fritte sauce, peanut satay & raw onion
24. Curry Ketchup Especial fritte sauce, curry ketchup & raw onion
25. Irish Curry

Fresh Pommes Frites Sauces

1. Mango Chutney
2. Chipotle Pineapple
3. Japaleno Cilantro
4. Pesto Parmesan
5. Buffalo Blue Cheese
6. Honey Mustard
7. Thai Explosion
8. Mesquite Barbecue
9. Chili Sweet Sauce
10. Sriracha Chili Sauce
11. Wasabi Mayo
12. Asian “Kick Ass” Barbecue
Fry Dustup: Pommes Frites Says Jersey ‘Copycat’ Is