The confusion is just getting worse, down on Milk Street.
At least that’s the way Marc Epstein (right) describes it. The founder and majority owner of Milk Street Cafe — a restaurant and caterer — filed a trademark infringement suit against Christopher Kimball in July following the celebrity chef’s plans to open a business called Milk Street Kitchen.
Much like his former employer, America’s Test Kitchen, Kimball’s new company is primarily a media company: There’s the recent magazine debut, for example, and also a radio show. Kimball isn’t prominently using the word “kitchen” as part of the name anymore.
Epstein says he still sees regular examples of people mistaking his 35-year-old business for Kimball’s Milk Street, which recently opened a few blocks away. “Every other day, there’s another e-mail, ‘Where are the tickets to the show?,’ ‘You got my address wrong for the magazine,’ ‘I’m looking for a job,’” Epstein says. “Within a few months, you type in ‘Milk Street’ [into Google] and you won’t even know who we are.”
Epstein’s lawsuit is plowing ahead in Boston federal court. ATK, meanwhile, sued Kimball last week, accusing him of starting work on his rival operation while on ATK’s payroll.
Scott Lashway, a lawyer at Holland & Knight who represents Kimball, declined to comment. Epstein’s lawsuit was initially filed by Jennifer Furey of Goulston & Storrs, the same lawyer who is now championing ATK. She is no longer involved with Epstein’s suit; that responsibility is now being handled by Tom Kenne y of Pierce & Mandell.
Epstein says he has had no communication with ATK about the litigation (ATK is an occasional catering customer).
Another client called to complain after learning about the ATK lawsuit, Epstein says, and his catering manager had to explain that she was upset with the wrong “Milk Street.”
“We’re getting caught in his [Kimball’s] web,” Epstein says. — JON CHESTO
Contrarian takes message to nonprofit boards
For years, Dan Pallotta has been preaching that the nonprofit sector is broken.
As head of Topsfield-based Charity Defense Council, he says nonprofits are rewarded for how little they spend, when they instead should be encouraged to spend more money on executive salaries, marketing, and fund-raising.
That, he argues, would help them increase revenue and attract more talent, giving them a better shot at solving society’s toughest problems.
Now he’s taking his argument to nonprofit boards.
On Saturday, Pallotta — who created the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Day walks — will be offering “Bolder Board Training,” a day-long workshop in Cambridge for nonprofit board members. Billed as “a nonprofit board experience unlike any other,” it will teach boards the art of “vision and boldness.” It has already filled 162 of its 170 slots, according to Pallotta.
“Most of the training board members get, for those who get training at all, is about fiduciary duty and governance and finance,” he says. “They just get plopped there with a bunch of Excel spreadsheets to review cash flow, and that’s it.
“I don’t think most people join a board to review spreadsheets once a month,” Pallotta adds. “I think they really want to make a difference and get involved with an idea that’s pushing the envelope, pushing the limits, pushing them.”
— SACHA PFEIFFER
Now that’s a paycheck
What does it take to bring a bank executive out of retirement? A hefty paycheck can help.
John Fawcett, the former chief financial officer of Citizens Financial Group, is returning in mid-December for a three-month stint with the Providence-based bank.
He will earn a salary of $250,000 a month for his services, or as the bank calculated in a regulatory filing last week, $57,692 a week.
Fawcett, who left Citizens in April 2015, is being brought back to fill in while the bank looks for a replacement for Eric Aboaf, the current chief financial officer who has taken a post at State Street Corp. Fawcett’s salary will be in line with his previous pay at Citizens, where he earned about $3.4 million in 2014 between his base pay, stocks and bonuses.
Bringing executives out of retirement in a common practice in a pinch and Citizens officials have said they are hoping Fawcett will provide continuity in the key position. Fawcett could not be reached for comment.
Fawcett isn’t the only bank executive recently to snub extra hours on the golf course for more time behind the desk.
In September, just a few days after retiring from Eastern Bank as its chief attorney, Terence McGinnis, took over as the state’s banking commissioner and primary industry regulator. And Mark Thompson, who retired from Boston Private Financial Holdings, is back a year later trying to relaunch Admirals Bank to serve millennials, young entrepreneurs, and nonprofits.
— DEIRDRE FERNANDES
Burtons’ secret sauce
When Kevin Harron and his team opened Burtons Grill & Bar in the then-new Derby Street Shoppes in 2005, the plan was always to build the South Shore restaurant into a multistate chain.
With construction starting this week on a Burtons in Boca Raton, it’s safe to say Harron has done just that. Florida is a long way from Hingham.
Today, the Andover-based company operates 14 restaurants, including two lower-priced Red Heat Tavern locations. Plans are in the works for three more Burtons spots, including the one in Florida, to open in 2017. (The others will be here, in Shrewsbury, and in Maryland).
Harron says the geographic disparity hasn’t posed much of a hardship. But like other restaurateurs, he needs to keep construction costs in line.
The business was originally named after Don Burton, a partner of Harron’s in Florida. His other partners include Peter Lynch, the former Fidelity Investments fund manager, and Brian McCarthy, of Kelly’s Roast Beef. Harron says he didn’t want to use their names because he didn’t want people to think the restaurant was an Irish pub. And time was running out, with the Hingham location about to open.
“We were arguing like crazy, at the beginning, trying to figure [this] out,” he says. “Our designers said, ‘We can’t have a No Name Restaurant.’ That’s already been taken.”
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