Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Food Fight

A dispute over white rice has gone from food court to Rhode Island Superior Court.

The dispute boils down to this: the owners of the Providence Place mall granted a Chinese restaurant in the food court an "exclusive license" to sell white rice "boiled or steamed" in their lease. Since then, Indian and Japanese eateries have come to the food court. Have you ever been to a Japanese restaurant that didn't have steamed white short grain rice? I doubt anybody has. Naturally, the owners of the Chinese eatery took umbrage, and since it apparently could not be resolved amicably, it's gone to court.

The Providence Journal (registration required) has all the bizarre details on Little Rhody's biggest food fight.

I have no idea how common the practice of granting exclusive rights to sell specific foods in mall food courts is, but I think I should get in on the ground floor and buy the rights to sell things made of "ground or milled wheat" and take all the sandwich places in the mall to court. I think the claims would stick like white on ... well, I don't like puns, so fill in the rest yourself.

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