Cafe Society

Pie Hole in the Wall

Bill Ward, the club guy behind Slim 7 at 1443 Larimer Street and owner of Denver’s new, and until recently unnamed, pizza restaurant in the alley between 14th and 15th streets on Larimer Square, has finally settled on a moniker: the Pie Hole.

Ward had been fighting for his right to use Pi as a name and the mathematical symbol for pi as on his logo, but in doing so, he ran up against the lawyers for Stonebridge Companies, a hotel management company in the process of opening a pizza joint called Pi Kitchen + Bar inside the new Hilton at 1400 Welton Street. The way these fights usually go, he who has the most scratch wins, and Stonebridge brought more pesos to the fight than Ward -- not to mention the not insignificant weight of law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Also, Stonebridge was willing to pay the money for a full, national trademark on the name Pi -- a move that generally settles these kinds of slap fights toot sweet.

So Ward lost the name Pi, despite his claims of having registered the name with the Secretary of State long before the other Pi started slinging cease-and-desist papers. And what does he do next? He picks a name -- Pie Hole -- that’s not only used by several other pizza joints across the country, but also happens to be the name of the all-pie restaurant owned by the main character on the new ABC show Pushing Daisies.

Anyone want to start laying bets on how long he gets to keep this one? -- Jason Sheehan

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun