Jersey Shore restaurant protecting its 'Taco Tuesday' trademark from fast food giant

"Taco Tuesday" is a phrase that's become nationally known for weekly specials at bars and restaurants, but one Jersey Shore eatery claims it coined the term and it has the trademark to prove it.

Owners of Gregory's Restaurant in Somers Point will tell visitors that it's the birthplace of "Taco Tuesday." Those catchy words first made an appearance over 40 years ago in the summer of 1979. 

"The first night we sold 15 orders, now we have served over 2M tacos in these 40-some years," Co-owner Gregory Gregory said. 

The longstanding restaurant trademarked the term "Taco Tuesday" in 1982, way before it gained fame on Twitter and Instagram or became a special at your favorite taco joint. 


Since then, Gregory's Restaurant is the only business in New Jersey that can legally use the term in advertising. The Taco John's chain has the trademark for all other 49 states. 

But now, Taco Bell - a multi-billion dollar fast food giant with a marketing department that once concocted the Taco Bell Chihuahua - is making a push to strip the trademark.

They filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to request "Taco Tuesday" claiming no one should have exclusive rights to the common phrase. 

Gregory's Restaurant in Somers Point, New Jersey trademarked the phrase "Taco Tuesday" in 1982.

NBA superstar LeBron James appeared in a recent Taco Bell social media advertisement in which he get censored for trying to say the words "Taco Tuesday." 

"It's David verses Goliath, it's the big guy verses the little guy," Gregory said. 

Gregory has hired a patent attorney to help protect the trademark, and he has the support of customers who crowded the small business Tuesday night for the $3 taco special. 

"That's big business for you, trying to crush a family-owned, several generations-owned business," Dr. Bob Goldberg said.