The battle over the "Taco Tuesday" phrase that is raging between mega-corporation Taco Bell and a locally owned and operated restaurant in a New Jersey shore town has taken a dark, troubling turn.

If you haven't been following the saga, here's a quick rundown:

For decades (this isn't new -- it's been since 1979), Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar in Somers Point has owned a trademark on the phrase "Taco Tuesday." Legally speaking, they are the only restaurant in the entire state of New Jersey that can use that phrase.

Years ago, the trademark lapsed and Taco John's, a national taco chain, grabbed it, but a deal was made where Taco John's could use "Taco Tuesday" everywhere except New Jersey, where Gregory's still held the rights to it.

Everything was fine for years and years... until Taco Bell came along a few months ago and made a big stink.

Taco Bell feels that the "Taco Tuesday" phrase is now so common that it should be "liberated" and they started a public relations campaign to go after Gregory's.

Meanwhile, the weaklings at Taco John's decided it wasn't worth the fight and they gave up their trademark in their 49 states.

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With that news, Taco Bell celebrated by giving away free tacos in those 49 states and they doubled down by specifically pointing out that the promotion was not available in New Jersey due to Gregory's rightfully and legally holding the "Taco Tuesday" trademark.

And now things are getting ugly. And Taco Bell is starting to look really, really bad.

Since keyboard warriors can't get a free taco in New Jersey, they've started bashing Gregory's online. And it's getting ugly, all thanks to Taco Bell.

Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
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Pretty amazing how someone who has only reviewed businesses in North Jersey decided to drive all the way down to Somers Point just for tacos...

Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
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There's nothing stopping Taco Bell from giving you a free taco, they're just being pissy about it.

Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
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We are, apparently, lucky to celebrate Tuesdays in this threatening review.

Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
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They did pay to claim the phrase decades ago. Legally.

Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
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Another person from North Jersey who drove down to Somers Point just for the tacos....... riiiiiiiiiiiiight........

And my favorite...

Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
Google user review of Gregory's in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google / TSM Illustration
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"You are white and don't trademark something that has nothing to do with your caucasian bar."

Good job, Taco Bell.

This is what your petulant little child-like temper tantrum has turned into -- people going out of their way to bash Gregory's with racist, unfounded reviews.

How sad for such a big company.

And again, there's nothing stopping Taco Bell from giving away free tacos in New Jersey. They could do it tomorrow if they wanted to.

But they don't want to.

Closed Taco Bell in Turnersville NJ - Photo: Google Maps
This closed Taco Bell in Turnersville NJ has been an eyesore since 2015 - Photo: Google Maps
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Taco Bell would rather beat up a small business than give you a free 12-cent taco.

Taco Bell's massive marketing department has millions of dollars to spend on advertising and it could easily come up with some massive attention-grabbing promotion, but this is what they decided to do instead.

A bunch of "educated" people in a conference room decided to target a little restaurant in a small Jersey Shore town.

All eyes on Somers Point

Taco Bell in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Taco Bell in Somers Point NJ - Photo: Google Maps
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Meanwhile, are those of us in South Jersey going to bash the Somers Point Taco Bell online? No (that seems to have taken care of itself). Are we going to protest there? No. Are we going to block traffic to prevent people from getting a taco? Nope.

The backlash has been fierce against Taco Bell and my contacts tell me there is a high appetite for boycotts. -Attorney V. Scott Macom

However, what we in South Jersey will do is stand shoulder to shoulder with Gregory's and we will until this battle is settled.

Until then, an open letter:

Dear Taco Bell,
Go to hell.

With love,
-South Jersey

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