I love a good cup of coffee in the morning (and sometimes in the afternoon). New York has many good coffee shops. When I visit New York, I can’t resist getting a bagel. The bagels in New York are superior. Maybe its because they have so much more experience with bagels in NYC, maybe its the water, maybe its is because I’m away from home.
A few months ago, I discovered a wonderful bagel shop around the corner from my hotel in midtown. It was great. As soon as I arrived back in Manhattan earlier this month, I was looking forward to waking up the next morning and getting a bagel from this wonderful shop. But I couldn’t remember name. I remembered what the store looked like. I remembered that it had a very bland name.
So I searched on my phone on Google Maps for bagels nearby. Countless options came up. None of them sounded right. I couldn’t remember the name, and I couldn’t remember what street it was on. I was literally stumped.
As I spent the day in different parts of midtown, I would occasionally check Google Maps and search bagels to see if a name popped up that sounded like the store I remembered. I checked once. A few blocks away, I checked again. Finally, it came up – Best Bagel & Coffee. No wonder I couldn’t find it!
Even if I had known the name, it might not come up. Do you know how many bagel stores want to appear in the search results when you look for “best bagel new york”? All of them!
A quick search right now shows these top three listings:
Jun 14, 2017 – Tompkins Square Bagels. East Village. Bagel Oasis. Fresh Meadows. Sadelle’s. SoHo. David’s Bagels. Stuy Town. Terrace Bagels. Windsor Terrace. Russ & Daughters. Lower East Side. Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Co. Astoria/Chelsea. Best Bagel & Coffee. Midtown.
Nov 23, 2016 – Bagel Pub. The Park Slope bagel counter specializes in hand-rolled, kettle-cooked bagelsin 17 varieties (cinnamon raisin, pumpernickel, garlic), which you can trick out with flavored cream cheeses (mixed berry, guacamole), smoked fish or with those corner-deli staples, bacon, egg and cheese.
Best Bagel & Coffee, does eventually show up in the listings. But it is not easy. And with such a bland name, I wouldn’t normally even be sure if that was the same place I had been to and enjoyed.
The USPTO records tell the same story: there are 7 live trademark registrations with “BEST” and “BAGEL” in the name, including BAGEL BEST, BEST BAGELS IN TOWN, BAGEL’S BEST, and BESTNEWYORKBAGEL.COM logo. There are more than 20 companies with USPTO trademark registrations featuring “BEST” and “COFFEE” in the name.
In short, Best Bagel & Coffee has great bagels and great coffee.
But it’s brand name is far from the best, both in terms of legal protections available and in terms of practical use for its customers.