Reporting John McDevitt
Filed underBusiness & Economy, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Tourism, Watch + Listen
By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Greek gyro vendor in the Reading Terminal Market says he is being forced by the US Olympic Committee to change the name of his business, “Olympic Gyro,” a name the business has used for three decades.
Claiming copyright of the word “Olympic,” the US Olympic Committee has told gyro stand owner Athens Voulgardis that he must change the name of the stand.
The lunch spot has had its name since 1982. Voulgardis’ family bought the operation in 1984 and he has worked there since age 12.
“It comes down to money,” he says philosophically. “It comes down to owning a word that will bring money to the USOC.”
His customers can’t believe the USOC wants the owner of the lunch counter to change its name.
“They should use the name Olympic Gyro to promote the Olympics, not to take it away,” says one woman, adding, “Go away, Olympic Committee!”
Voulgardis (back to camera in photo) says he has been given one year to change the name.
“Ideas were thrown out. They threw ‘Olympus’ at me. I threw ‘Olympia’ at them. I got the OK for that, but it all comes down to what’s available corporate-wise. I have to redo my corporation.”
Voulgardis says it’s going to cost him about $6,000 to make the switch, including new neon signs. A plea for reimbursement, he adds, has been turned down by the USOC.