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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Restaurant Name Changes: It's a Bad Month for the Little Guys

Posted By on Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 9:05 AM

click to enlarge Just so's you know, Novamex: San Francisco hates you right now.
  • Just so's you know, Novamex: San Francisco hates you right now.
Yesterday, Mission Mission posted more details about the forced name change that Los Jarritos ― you know, the 22-year-old Mission restaurant with the colorful decor and great breakfasts ― has undergone. In March, the Bay Guardian reported on owner Dolores Reyes' legal battle with Novamex, the company that manufactures Los Jarritos sodas. The battle apparently proved too costly for the small, family-run business, and now the restaurant is called SanJalisco. (We hope that Reyes charges Novamex hundreds of thousands of dollars for the URL.) It's not the first Bay Area restaurant that Novamex has gone after ― four years ago, Los Jarritos in Lafayette was forced to change its name to El Jarro.

Meanwhile, Inside Scoop has been covering the forced renaming of an Oakland restaurant, specializing in mac and cheese, that was going to be called "Little Mac." Apparently, McDonald's is terribly offended. The restaurant owners, who blog under the name Local Lemons, asked for commenters to suggest new names for their place, and have received 658 comments to date.

Where will this overly vigilant trademark defense end? Other restaurants that we worry about:

Wendy's Cheesecake

Bakery: If the Cheesecake Factory and Wendy's/Arby's ever merge, this

Bayview bakery is in deep, deep trouble.

click to enlarge Endangered?
  • Endangered?
Big 4: Why hasn't the Big Ten jumped all over this Nob Hill restaurant?

Don't they realize it has been luring in football fans looking for MGD

and potato skins, then stuffing them with venison and $100 bottles of


Bamboo Hut and Loving Hut: Yum! Brands is apparently lax on the

trademark infringement suits. The KFC/Pizza Hut owner has allowed Louisiana Fried Chicken

to leapfrog on the whole "fried chicken" (TM) thing, and now apparently

is letting other businesses squat on "Hut." Not for long, we fear.

And watch out, Sam's Grill, Sam's Diner, Sam's on Broadway, Trad'r Sam, and Sam's Chinese Restaurant: Sam's Club is gunning for you all.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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