by Nancy Stiles
Members-only restaurant and bar Blood & Sand (1500 St. Charles Street; 314-241-7263) has filed a lawsuit against a restaurant and bar also called Blood & Sand in Buffalo, New York. The St. Louis restaurant is suing over trademark infringement -- it owns "Blood & Sand" when it has anything to do with restaurants. "Instances of actual confusion have occurred because of Defendant's use of Blood & Sand," the suit alleges.
UPDATE (8/4/14, 12:32 p.m.): It looks like Buffalo Blood & Sand has thrown in the towel. It's taking suggestions for a new name, though, our favorite of which is "Hemoglobin & Salt."
The lawsuit enumerates several ways in which the Buffalo Blood & Sand is easily confused with the St. Louis Blood & Sand: a similar old-timey logo, almost identical concept and, most tellingly, its website URL. We have to concede that www.bloodandsandstl.com and www.bloodandsandbuffalo.com do seem to imply different locations of the same restaurant.
The St. Louis restaurant, which is owned by Adam Frager and TJ Vytlacil, says it has been using the name since at least 2009; the Buffalo restaurant's Facebook page says it will open August 15, 2014 (though the lawsuit states it has been open since July 24).
Frager and Vytlacil recently expanded their brand (sort of) to lunchtime spot Death in the Afternoon (808 Chestnut Street; 314-621-3236) at Citygarden, which works as a foil to Blood & Sand. In the lawsuit, though, it says "Blood & Sand has been endeavoring the expansion of the Blood & Sand brand nationally," which we find to be the most curious part of the whole matter.
Blood & Sand is asking for the Buffalo restaurant to stop using the name (or "any other confusingly similar name"), pay actual and punitive damages and reimburse it for the cost of the lawsuit.
Calls to Blood & Sand Buffalo resulted in a high-pitched tone instead of a voicemail box, and emails for comment were not immediately returned. Messages left for Frager and Vytlacil were not immediately returned, either.
You can read the full filing here:
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