by Ian Froeb
This week's review of twinOak Wood Fired Fare (1201 Strassner Drive, Brentwood; 314-644-2772) mentions the controversy surrounding the restaurant's original name, Taste Wood Fired Fare. In discussing the dispute between what is now twinOak and Gerard Craft's Taste, I failed to credit George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine with reporting that Craft's attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to twinOak owners Casey and Curt Friedrichs. My apologies.
It was especially necessary to cite Mahe's article because neither the Friedrichs nor Craft would discuss the dispute on the record, even to confirm (or deny) what Mahe had already reported. Which, of course, is their prerogative.
Still, at the risk of building a slightly bigger mountain out of this molehill, I do want to offer a final -- somewhat ironic -- addendum to the story:
When Gut Check reported on the name change, Casey Friedrichs told us that they were abandoning Taste for twinOak in part to "eliminate confusion with other restaurants." This seemed to be a euphemism for Taste.
Surprisingly, that might not have been the only reason.
According to public records, the United States Patent and Trademark Office on June 10 refused the Friedrichs' application, through a LLC, for a trademark on Taste Wood Fired Fare because of a "likelihood of confusion".
Ironically, the government attorney who reviewed the application cited as a possible cause of confusion not Taste in St. Louis, but a specialty food shop based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, called Taste Unlimited.
The Friedrichs abandoned the application in July, around the same time that they changed the name to twinOak.
(You can view the entire trademark application online.)