During a conversation with Leeza this morning about the dearth of lunch options in Foggy Bottom, I touched on a particularly contentious battle waged on the GW campus in 2005: Coggins' vs. Potbelly. For those of you who didn't have the privilege of spending shit tons of money to smoke cigarettes outside of Crawford and dabble a bit in Art History, Coggins' was a restaurant located in the Ivory Tower (seriously) dormitory that served toasted sandwiches prepared assembly-line style in a faux-antique setting. Sound familiar? Yeah, Potbelly thought so too. But not so fast wise guy. From a 2005 City Paper article:
Coggins’ attorney John Climaco says that any similarities between Potbelly and Coggins’ “are in Potbelly’s head.” In a 44-page brief filed on Feb. 25, he explains that in contrast to the “cozy lived-in charm” to which Potbelly aspires, Coggins’ is distinguished by its faux–Industrial Revolution efficiency. “Each employee plays the role of a ‘factory worker’ working at an original Coggins’ Sandwich Manufactory*,” Climaco notes. For example, “the person accepting payment for each order is not the cashier, but rather, the ‘Shipper.’” Coggins’ also “puts a unique twist on the traditional restaurant cooler, denoting its version of the sodas and other drinks displayed therein as ‘Coolants.’”And somehow it gets even better:
Additionally, Climaco asserts, his client’s sandwiches are indisputably unique. One, the “Fluffanutter and Bananas” sandwich, is a dessert sandwich with Marshmallow Fluff and hazelnut spread and is distinct from the plebian PB&J that Potbelly’s makes. In Footnote 6 of Climaco’s Nov. 24 rebuttal of Potbelly’s concerns, Climaco describes the Fluffanutter as “a long way from a common peanut butter and jelly sandwich which I refused to allow my mother to serve me for lunch.”Seriously, that shit reads like an Onion article. Curious as to the fate of this epic battle? Suffice to say that Coggins' is no more. In its place? A Potbelly. Natch.
The Fluffanutter may have convinced Climaco of Coggins’ unmistakable flair, but many of its customers readily concede they’re dining at Potbelly’s doppelgänger.
*as Leeza so kindly pointed out, while the word "manufactory" makes me want to barf, it would be a really good name for a gay club