Juicy Crab seafood restaurant closes before grand opening

"Juicy Crab" name already owned by Georgia company

The Juicy Crab sounded like a great name for a seafood restaurant. 

And so the new owners of the former IHOP on Kemper Road in Springdale, Ohio, spent tens of thousands of dollars, and three months of work, to prepare for the opening of the Cincinnati-area's newest seafood restaurant this week.

Only one small problem: there already is a Juicy Crab in Atlanta, and it is not happy.

The Cincinnati restaurant, which launched a soft opening last week, has been forced to shut down just days before its grand opening, and furlough its staff of cooks and waiters who had just been hired.

Manager Anthony Dong tells WCPO they received a cease-and-desist letter earlier this week from the owners of the Georgia-based Juicy Crab, telling them to stop using their trademarked name and similar looking logo. 

That company owns several franchised seafood restaurants (and is adding more), but the Cincinnati restaurant had no connection, other than the unfortunate same name.

Why did they use the same name?

Dong says his family came up with the name, then discovered it already existed on other restaurants.

But he says their attorney promised that as long as they were not located in the same state (Georgia), and did not use the exact cursive lettering in their logo, they would be fine. 

So the Cincinnati restaurant incorporated large block letters, and similar, though different crab in their logo. But it apparently was not different enough for the Georgia' company's lawyers, who call the Cincinnati restaurant a "fake Juicy Crab," which opened without permission. 

Dong says his family never intended to open a counterfeit restaurant, and says the name and crab logo were coincidental.

However, he does not want a lengthy or expensive legal battle, so has agreed to change the name to The Cincinnati Crab.  He hopes to have new signs in place, and new T-shirts printed, in the next two weeks, at which point the restaurant plans to open for good.

Let's just hope there is not already a restaurant called The Cincinnati Crab.

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