Actually, it's a legal flap about the city of Redmond's efforts to ban sandwich boards except for political, real estate, and a few other specially defined notification.
Dennis Ballen, the owner of Blazing Bagels, successfully challenged the ordinance in Federal District Court. The city appealed to the 9th Circuit maintaining that it is following Supreme Court precedent in banning such signs to protect against clutter and traffic accidents.
The city says it recognizes it cannot ban political advertising and that real estate sandwich boards provide a special service, which has been recognized by the court.
Ballen says he's not the one making it a federal case, he is just fighting to protect his small business and the need for directional advertising.
Ballen says insists his are the best bagels west of New York -- 24 varieties, everything from plain to pizza.
But he has a problem. His bagel shop is in a warehouse complex.
"You have to put up signs or no one will find you back here," he said.
A few years ago, Dennis even hired "Dancing Dan" to promote his Blazing Bagels. The city of Redmond banned such antics.
But that's how Carl Shaffer found the place. "The signs out on the road with the people dancing," he said.
Asked if he would have found the store without those signs, Shaffer said: "Never! Never! There's just no possible way to find it."
Redmond told the three-judge Federal Appeals court panel that signs cause clutter, and create unnecessary distractions for motorists.
Ballen's attorney argued it's all about free speech.
It went on for an hour, with Ballen's attorney pleading: "Small signs directing people to retail locations are vital to small retailers."
Redmond's attorney argued the city allows political signs and real estate signs as required by precedent.
One judge, Marilyn Huff, asked: "If you are driving down the street and are distracted following a real estate sign and cause an accident isn't that the same as turning for a bagel."
The city insists its laws eliminate possibly 50 percent of the potential problems created by sandwich boards and suggested the number could increase exponentially if the law were thrown out.
It may be the first time a bagel has become a federal case. But Dennis Ballen says its costing everyone a lot of dough.