Over the years we’ve watched countless venues sacrifice their name to satiate their corporate overlords, a sad and inevitable consequence of business in a capitalist culture. Add another one to the list: Stubb’s, the Austin barbecue joint that’s long been a staple of the city’s music scene.
The name change comes after a long, unpleasant trademark lawsuit regarding the expansion of the Stubb’s brand. It was brought against Stubb’s by McCormick & Co., a Baltimore condiment maker, and its Austin subsidiary One World Foods, which manufactures Stubb’s barbecue sauce. A resolution was announced Thursday, though details regarding the name change have yet to be announced.
As a result of the settlement, McCormick now owns exclusive rights to the Stubb’s trademark.
A statement issued by One Whole Foods reads, “While terms of the agreement are confidential, it is important to note this was a mutual resolution that allows the restaurant and venue to live on and allow the Stubb’s brand of products to expand and grow.”
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The good news is that Stubb’s will still be Stubb’s; it just won’t have the name. “We are going to phase out the name,” says Lou Reyes, an attorney for the restaurant. “The important part, really, is that it will still be the same owners, the same managers, the same cold beer and live music and great food for decades and decades to come.”
The lawsuit was apparently both costly and contentious. Back in December of last year, federal judge Sam Sparks wrote in a procedural ruling, “The only meaningful message is that the parties do not like each other and are willing to pay incredible attorney’s fees rather than sitting down and working out a relatively simple solution that would conclude this case and allow both plaintiff’s and defendants’ businesses to continue in their profitable ways.”
Pop on over to the Austin Business Journal for more details.