Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Battle Brewing Between Zuma Boston in the Back Bay and Zuma Tex-Mex Grill at Faneuil Hall

A naming dispute between two Boston restaurants appears to be heating up.

According to an article in The Boston Globe, the owners of Zuma Tex-Mex Grill at Faneuil Hall filed a lawsuit last month against Zuma Boston, a high-end Japanese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street in the Back Bay, and a Superior Court judge has subsequently ruled in favor of the Tex-Mex spot. The post reports that Judge Brian A. Davis says "B.B. Kitchen [which owns Zuma Tex-Mex Grill] is a small, single location business that already is suffering from significant marketplace confusion and likely will continue to suffer so long as [UK-based parent company] Azumi operates its Zuma Boston under the Zuma name....Azumi, on the other hand, is an international operation with approximately $200 million in annual revenues." Davis says that Azumi will have to cease and desist all use of the Zuma name, including in everything from social media posts to signs and marketing/ads, while workers cannot tell customers that the restaurant is called Zuma.

The Globe mentions that Zuma Tex-Mex Grill claims the right to use the name based on an license agreement that Azumi entered with B.B. Kitchen in 2008 where the former would not open any locations of Zuma in New England. The Back Bay location of Zuma debuted in late May.

[August 27 update: The Boston Globe mentions that the naming dispute between Zuma Tex-Mex Grill and Zuma Boston has been settled "amicably" and it appears Zuma Tex-Mex Grill may be changing its name, though specific details have not been given as of yet.]

by Marc Hurwitz (Also follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston)

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