This NJ Restaurant Owner Is Feuding With Taco Bell and LeBron James Over "Taco Tuesday" Trademark

“It truly is a David vs. Goliath scenario,” Gregory Gregory, owner of Gregory's Restaurant and Bar in Somers Point, NJ, told The scenario in question? Gregory's feud with fast food giant Taco Bell and basketball star LeBron James over the trademark for the phrase "Taco Tuesday."

Taco Bell recently filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for them to release the Taco Tuesday trademark to the general public. Gregory currently owns the trademark in New Jersey, while rival chain Taco John's controls it in 49 other states.

“Taco Bell believes ‘Taco Tuesday’ is critical to everyone’s Tuesday,” the filing states. “To deprive anyone of saying ‘Taco Tuesday’—be it Taco Bell or anyone who provides tacos to the world—is like depriving the world of sunshine itself.”

The chain has even enlisted LeBron James—who also tried unsuccessfully to trademark Taco Tuesday back in 2019—in its campaign. The Lakers star appears in a new commercial titled "Taco *Bleep*," where the trademark word is repeatedly censored.

But according to Gregory, this is a case of a chain bullying smaller competitors.

“It seems unfair to me Taco Bell can have a trademark for the sound of the bell on their commercials, but they don’t want us to keep our trademark for ‘Taco Tuesday,’” Gregory said to “Everyone rings a bell.”

Gregory first trademarked the phrase in 1982, after his South Jersey restaurant experimented with serving tacos for the first time. Although he wasn't a fan, he found it was a "phenomenon," and filed for the trademark at the behest of his friend. A lapse in 1989 allowed Taco John's to gain control of the trademark outside New Jersey.

Now, it's up to the Patent and Trademark Office to decide. Gregory expects Taco Bell's rival Taco John's to muster the most weight in the fight.

“We are weighing our options to whatever steps we are going to take,” said Gregory,. “For us, does it make sense to spend a ton of money fighting this over a basket of $2.50 tacos?”

Still, the restaurant is already reaping publicity from the event. A sign outside the establishment reads "Home of the original Taco Tuesday. Come on LeBron!"