A new Miami-Dade restaurant may be forced to fork over money and change its name, logo and website if it loses a trademark-infringement lawsuit filed recently in a federal court in Texas.
B&S Gastropub, which opened in June in Kendall’s Metropolis at Dadeland, is being sued by Barley Swine, an acclaimed Austin, Texas, restaurant that opened in 2010. The B&S in the local restaurant’s name stands for Barley & Swine.
The similarity in names is bound to cause confusion among customers, the 67-page suit claims, especially since the restaurants are sometimes mentioned in the same food publications. A 10-page exhibit lists Barley Swine’s media coverage, including several posts from national magazines and websites.
Barley Swine attorney Dwayne Goetzel sent a cease-and-desist letter to B&S partner Jorge Ramos in June. At that point the Kendall restaurant, which, like the Austin restaurant, specializes in pork-based dishes and craft beer, transitioned from Barley & Swine to the abbreviated B&S.
But the words “Barley” and “Swine” continued to appear on B&S Gastropub’s website ( barleyandswine.com), social media pages, marketing materials and menu, according to the lawsuit. Goetzel wrote a final warning letter in July.
“I hope that such [legal] action will not be necessary, but your refusal to respond and cooperate with our demands is leaving us little choice,” the lawyer wrote.
Goetzel said he has not received any response from Ramos or an attorney representing the restaurant. Barley Swine filed its lawsuit Aug. 21 in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas; no trial date has been scheduled.
Jorge Ramos oversees the dining room at B&S while his son Jorgie handles kitchen duties. Before opening B&S, the two ran The Joint Bar & Grill, a short-lived Pinecrest restaurant.
The elder Ramos told Eater that he’s considering a countersuit against Barley Swine.
“Like I’ve said before, we’re not concerned with what is going on in Austin,” Ramos said to the food website. “We have enough to deal with running one of Miami’s top new restaurants. Our name is not what makes us great, it’s the amazing food, service and environment that make us what we are.”