04 | Feb | 16

Richard Johnson

Bonfire Of The Vanities

No such thing as bad publicity. That’s what they say. And I’m sure Ben Denner would agree. The fact that Lucky Chip, his much-loved burger outfit at the Queen’s Head in North London, was recently forced to change the name of its Mark Wahlberg burger came at just the right time to shout about the fact that he was about to open Burgers & Wine — his first proper restaurant — in East London. Lucky Chip first introduced the Mark Wahlberg, made using 35-day aged Long-horn beef and braised short rib, in January. It sat nicely on the menu alongside the the Beastie Boys burger and the Kevin Bacon. But word reached Wahlberg, who owns a restaurant in America called Wahlburgers, and a cease and desist letter from his lawyers arrived days later. The letter thanked Lucky Chip for wanting to “honour” the actor, but said they were competing with his brand and giving the false impression he endorsed their product. Denner told The London Evening Standard: “We named it after him because I’m just a big fan, I think he’s a great dude. I’m a fan of a lot of his movies. When I saw the email I opened it and thought at first it was a joke. I was a bit surprised to be honest.” I’m sure that Denner can handle the surprise. His pub residency has never been busier (and you know what we think of pub residencies). And now he’s changed the name of the Wahlburger to the Dirk Diggler (see the menu board above), the 6 o’clock news want to hear his story. All over again…