By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A restaurant battle is brewing in Sacramento. The Biba family is accusing a former employee of stealing recipes, trade secrets, and copying the restaurant’s menu.

After Biba closed last year, a bartender there opened a new restaurant in East Sacramento called Mattone Ristorante. He wanted to name it after the iconic Sacramento chef, Biba Caggiano, who died in 2019. The family said no and said his restaurant should be distinct from Biba, but a new lawsuit claims it’s not.

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The Biba family says Mattone stole Biba’s trade secret recipes, including the prized lasagna, and says the menu is nearly identical. A longtime customer says the whole situation is disappointing.

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“I’m sorry to hear that because I imagine they have a long relationship going back many years,” Pam Hill said. “I hope they can work it out.”

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The Biba family is seeking damages and restitution. An attorney for the owner of Mattone says they have not yet been served with the lawsuit.