Athens Voulgaridis, whose family bought the Olympic Gyro eatery at Reading Terminal Market in 1984, said he received a cease-and-desist e-mail from the U.S. Olympic Committee June 7 demanding he remove the word "Olympic" from the lunch counter's name, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday.
The e-mail cited a 1978 law granting the USOC all U.S. commercial use of Olympic imagery and terminology, including the word "Olympic." The representative who sent the e-mail said the committee only recently learned of the eatery.
"'Olympic' has been around forever; you can't just buy a name," Voulgaridis said. "They don't have a right to do that, but I'm not going to fight the government."
Voulgaridis said he decided to comply with the USOC, which said in a follow-up letter it would give the business until the end of 2013 to change its name, and re-dub the lunch counter Olympia Gyro, a name that won the approval of USOC officials.
The owner said he expects it to cost about $6,000 to change the eatery's signs and employee uniforms.