Chickie's & Pete's
|Private Sports Bar|
|Founded||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1977)|
|Founder||Peter & Henrietta Ciarrocchi|
Number of locations
|Revenue||Multi-million dollars (2011)|
Chickie’s & Pete’s is an American bar and restaurant business privately owned and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It started as a small privately owned neighborhood taproom in 1977 and created a brand name as a seafood crab house that expanded from a single location to multiple locations within the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. In 2011 ESPN voted Chickie's & Pete's the number one sports bar in the Northeast United States.
Peter and Henrietta Ciarrocchi had owned a deli and in 1977 purchased a nearby small neighborhood taproom on Robbins Avenue, in the Mayfair section of northeast Philadelphia known as "Wally's". Peter made three changes by adding stools to the standing-only bar, lifting the “men only” rule, and naming the bar after himself and his wife, Henrietta, whom everyone called Chickie. When Peter died in 1987, it was Chickie who encouraged Peter's son, Pete Junior, to run with his own business ideas, his spin on crab seasoned fries, and whatever else he wanted to try. In 1998 Pete expanded the business by purchasing a run-down vacant supermarket building near Veterans Stadium within the Sports Complex Special Services District in Packer Park, South Philadelphia, to build upon the sports bar concept by locating near Philadelphia's sport venues.
By locating Chickie's & Pete's by Philadelphia's sport venues, the business plan became to develop a sports bar venue. Pete first started experimenting with seafood recipes and one result was his "crab fries" which became the first of several signature dishes. Stage two of development became known as being a crab house and sports bar. In late 2009 the taproom that evolved into a sports bar through association with sports media, attracting sport fan patrons, evolved by adding interactive video to some locations tagged as "PLAY2." This trademarked concept, adding the dimension of not just watching sports on TV but to become one with the sport with interactive video, moved the business onto a new course. Since 1998 Chickie's & Pete's has expanded successfully to a number of locations throughout eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, reaching national attention as a unique brand. Though most locations are in or near the Delaware Valley, Chickie's & Pete's has express locations as far out as Pittsburgh, where it sells its "crab fries" at concession stands at PNC Park and First Niagara Pavilion.
Crab Fries Lawsuits
Chickie’s and Pete’s trademarked the phrase “crab fries” in 2007. The owner of the company, Pete Ciarrocchi, has been “passionate about defending that trademark.” A federal lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2011, alleging that New York J & P Pizza in Westminster, Maryland was guilty of trademark infringement and unfair competition due to their use of the term "crab fries" on a 2007 online menu. A similar lawsuit was filed, also in 2011, against Crabby Fries in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Other restaurants, including Sidecar Bar & Grille in Philadelphia and another restaurant in Maryland, have voluntarily removed the offending terms rather than face a lawsuit.
Not every restaurant has agreed to discontinue their usage of this phrase. Crabby Fries is fighting the lawsuit threat by noting that they are 400 miles from Chickie's & Pete's primary market, and arguing that the terms 'crab' and 'fries' are too generic to be trademarked. In August 2012, during an out of court settlement through a mediator, Crabby Fries agreed to take "crabby fries” off their menu, but will operate under the name Crabby Fries for an undisclosed amount of time.
As of September 2011, Chickie & Petes had 12 Crab House and Sports Bar locations; multiple facilities at Lincoln Financial Field (home of the Eagles Football team) and other venues provide a total of 37 sales sites.
Xfinity Live!, to be located at Philadelphia's Sport Complex, announced in December 2011 the development of a new food court and additional restaurants that would include a Chickie & Petes.
In February 2014, Chickies's & Pete's agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle both a Labor Department investigation and a lawsuit brought by current and former employees alleging wage and labor law violations.
- "Company Overview of Chickie's and Pete's, Inc.". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Metro Newspaper Philadelphia 08/31/2011
- "Characters: Pete! | Philadelphia Magazine Articles". Phillymag.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- Michael Klein, Philly.com (2011-10-28). "Chickie's & Pete's sues over 'Maryland Crab Fries'". Philly.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Crabby Fries feeling pinch of trademark dispute « The Outer Banks Voice". Outerbanksvoice.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- Ham, David. "Outer Banks eatery fighting for Crabby Fries". abc13wvec. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Van Allen, Peter (12 December 2011). "Chickie’s & Pete’s too crabby about fries trademark?". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- "Trademark suit settled, Crabby Fries keeps name « The Outer Banks Voice". Outerbanksvoice.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Chickie’s & Pete’s deal: N.C. to keep its Crabby Fries - Philadelphia Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- Joseph N. DiStefano (2011-09-02). "Chickie's and Pete's adds Philly Live, Airport, burb sites". Philly.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- George, John (7 January 2011). "Chickie's & Pete's Ciarrocchi cooks as an owner of Soul".
- "Chickie's & Pete's Tips Lawsuit Settlement Announced". Philadelphia Magazine. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-05-17.