Bufarella battle brewing? Name confusion and a $250 ‘luxury pizza’ arrive with new Fort Lauderdale restaurant

New York had its Ray’s Pizza wars. Broward now has a Bufarella brouhaha. Bufarella Genuine Italian Gourmet is a small cheese and sandwich shop that opened in August 2018 in Oakland Park. Bufarella La Pizza Di Napoli is an 86-seat pizzeria restaurant that opened this week in Fort Lauderdale.

The stores, about 3 miles apart, have different owners and are not affiliated. Both specialize in soft, creamy mozzarella cheeses made in house daily from curds shipped from Italy.

Bufarella, the sandwich market, is not happy about Bufarella, the pizza restaurant, opening nearby with a similar name.

“It’s confusing,” says Franco Godina, Bufarella Genuine Italian Gourmet co-founder and a veteran restaurateur.

“We’re completely different,” says Riccardo Romano, co-founder of Bufarella La Pizza Di Napoli. “We’re a restaurant. They’re a small shop. There’s enough room for both of us.”

Attorneys for the businesses communicated last year when Bufarella the market learned of Bufarella the pizzeria’s name. Godina says he found out when a sign maker who did work for both remarked on the similarities in names and logos. Bufarella the market wants the pizzeria to change its name.

But Bufarella La Pizza Di Napoli, at 5975 N. Federal Highway, maintains it has a right to use the name, which is named after buffalo mozzarella.

The restaurant specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas made with fresh buffalo mozzarella and cooked in a wood-burning oven. It also offers salads, calzones, pastas and desserts.