Monday, April 9, 2012

☞ DRINK: Lenox Lounge vs Lenox Social


The Lenox Social barely opened its doors last month at 126th Street and Lenox Avenue but now has to change its name since the iconic Lenox Lounge claims that there is too much of a similarity according to a Crain's article.  New businesses have been opening along the now popular Lenox Avenue ever since the Red Rooster opened its doors and have been using the historic name of Malcolm X Boulevard as a moniker.  Lenox Coffee opened up further north at 129th Street but does not appear to be in conflict with the famous lounge since it is a coffeehouse and not a drinking establishment.

Apparently a Lenox Lounge representative informed the owner of Lenox Social that a trademark infringement was at hand so the new drinking establishment has decided to change its name to make sure all the neighbors are happy.  Read more in the Crain's article "Harlem Bars Spar Over Name": LINK

14 comments:

  1. This is kind of dumb. Lenox is the name of the street. Are they going to threaten Lenox Coffee next? I'd assume not, 'cause they don't view Lenox Coffee is a threat to their business.

    You can't claim a copyright on the street's name. I don't buy the idea that a significant number of people mistakenly walk into Lenox Social thinking that it's Lenox Lounge.

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  2. Wow. I personally think this is a cheap shot coming from an ailing business.I understand Lenox Social not wanting a PR nightmare but come on! This is petty. No one in their right mind is confusing the two.

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  3. @CityDweller:

    It's pretty easy to tell the difference between Lenox Lounge from Lenox Social.

    Lenox Social is the place that actually is crowded on a weekday evening.

    Even if Lenox Social changes its name to Harlem Social or whatever, it will STILL be more heavily visited than the Lenox Lounge.

    If folks wanted to go to a glorified dive bar they would.

    The ownership of Lenox Lounge better trying trying to up its own game rather than going for harassment tactics.

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  4. Good for Lenox Social being the "bigger person" here but, as other posters have said, COME ON. I know it's competition but actually I think it helps Lenox Social. We are far from the saturation point in these types of establishments and this gives the area critical mass. People are more likely to make the trip to Harlem - or stay in their neighborhood for a nigh out - if there are multiple options to chose form.

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  5. A rising tide lifts all boats, except in the minds of petty backwards individuals, this is why the likes of Lenox Lounge get left behind. Instead of this negativity, I suggest the Lenox Lounge hire the Lenox Social for consulting management services on how to run a business in Harlem.

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  6. That's very bad Karma for Lenox Lounge. Call me superstitious but I believe that incident just hammered the remaining nails to to the Lenox Louunge's coffin!!

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  7. Central HarlemiteApril 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    What a shame. Lenox Lounge has missed so many opportunities to take advantage of the influx of new residents who are looking for a place to relax and have a drink. Instead, they're spending their energy sniping at the newcomers. How shortsighted of them.

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  8. Lenox Lounge is the drinking establishment equivalent of Representative Rangel. Justing saying..

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  9. I totally understand Lenox Lounge’s point from a business point of view. There can be confusion in the name. A good example of confusion in the eyes of the public would be the Ray’s Pizza chain in Manhattan (no relation to me). Copy cats have watered down the brand with wannabe pizza names like Famous Ray’s Pizza, The Original Ray’s Pizza, etc.

    Another example would be the cheap hot dog stands downtown. We now have Gray’s Papaya, Papaya King, etc. I can’t even now remember which one is the original famous hot dog stand.

    Also, when the current owner of Lenox Lounge sells his lease, or finally gives up his brick and mortar bar, all that he will have left is his trademarked name, and that can be a nice source of income for an aging lounge proprietor.

    I also understand Lenox Social not wanting to fight the issue in court, since it could be costly and time consuming for a new business trying to get on it’s feet.

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  10. Ray, your argument misses the point. Unlike your pizza and hot dog examples, Lenox is the name of the street. It's akin to someone trying to keep the word "Broadway" out of an establishment's name. It's absurd and short sighted; plus, since it's illegal to trademark the broad name of a street, an ill-conceived move on the part of the Lenox Lounge which only serves to illustrate greed and pettiness.

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  11. Guest...I would disagree with your suggestion that "it's illegal to trademark the broad name of a street." For example, let's take the famous "2nd Avenue Deli" in midtown. I'm sure that if another delicatessen came along with a name too similar to its name, the new owners would soon find their butts hauled into court. And of course 2nd Avenue is the name of a street, as is Lenox. The court steps in New York are littered with these types of trademark cases.

    But fret not, if Lenox Social is as naive and innocent as you believe, they will just change their name.

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  12. I can guess the majority doesn't know what the Lenox Lounge is! It is a Landmark in Harlem. It is a Staple. Please, if you don't know the history of the Lenox Lounge, if you have never visited and felt the energy of the People. To some, it is a place where great stories were born, where great music was played, where love was found, where Legends set foot! and Still set foot! It is just another attempt to take over Harlem and yupify it. An attempt to change the face and steal the style from the People that made harlem what it is today! The Lenox Lounge is one of the true beats in the Heart Of Harlem. Other establishments protect their name so why not the Lenox Lounge? Don't try to infringe on A Place The People Have Made. So many different establishments coming in are tryin to copy what Harlem is. Good Luck because you just can't copy the Soul Of The People!!!!

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  13. It may be a historic landmark, but the service at the Lenox Lounge is horrible, the drinks are way overpriced for the quality, and I've had my purse stolen there. The music is great, but the drink minimums are too expensive for a weeknight. I haven't been to Lenox Social yet, but I look forward to giving it a chance.

    I'm not a trademark lawyer, but with what I do know, I can't see Lenox Lounge's action being successful. And from what I've read on other Harlem blogs, it seems like most people agree that this reflects negatively on the Lounge and its owners.

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  14. Look what CBGB's did, they used the name to go Vegas. In that case the name did bring in revenue after the real venue closed. Trademark or not, if LenLounge can't compete as a business with the changing neighborhood then they deserve exactly what is to come. They're entitled to protect their trademark but I think that's the least of their problems. Another thing, what's wrong with yuppies? If you had a son who was young, and he lived in the city (urban) and was a professional anything wouldn't you be proud of him?

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