A tale of two Hudson House restaurants has developed a day after Hudson House in West Hollywood officially opened on Monday, January 30, 2022, at 9255 Sunset Blvd., #100. The Hudson House Redondo Beach is suing the Dallas-based Vandelay Hospitality Group in a California federal court claiming that Vandelay’s use of the name “Hudson House” for its new restaurant in WeHo violates California common law and is a trademark infringement.
Hudson House Redondo Beach, established by chefs Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts in 2008, alleges that Vandelay knew the name was already in use when it promoted and opened its new restaurant in West Hollywood, which had a soft opening on January 20th. Both restaurants are located roughly 20 miles from each other and serve similar menu items like fish tacos, lobster rolls, and burgers, although the Hudson House in WeHo offers upscale Americana while the Redondo Beach locale offers casual bar fare.
The Hudson House in WeHo was conceptualized by Hunter Pond, founder and CEO of Vandelay Hospitality Group. Pond has a roster of restaurants that include East Hampton Sandwich Company, Lucky’s Hot Chicken, and D.L. Mack’s. They also have plans to open a Hudson House Brentwood.
We reported here last May that Vandelay is bringing Drake’s to West Hollywood on Melrose Avenue, in the Design District, located east of San Vicente Boulevard. Drake’s is inspired by restaurants from the West Coast, namely, “old-school, classic hangouts” like Delilah’s and Craig’s, which are both West Hollywood locations.
It appears the trademark was taken over by Hudson House LLC in 2018, the same year the trademark was abandoned by another Hudson House entity. Details on the current trademark can be found in the link below:
Information to the previous trademark activity prior to Hudson House LLC, can be found below:
The lawsuit filed by the LA restaurant in Redondo Beach states that the “Hudson House” name has been established and associated with the business for years. They also claim that the presence of a second restaurant using the same name has caused confusion among customers, vendors, and potential employees, resulting in lost sales, reduced profits, and harm to the overall reputation of Hudson House, causing damages yet to be fully determined.
According to reports, an arrest warrant has been issued for Hunter Pond by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s office in Colorado for charges of harassment, striking, shoving, kicking, disorderly conduct and displaying an offensive hand gesture. The Mountain Village Police Department is investigating the incident, however, the records are under seal due to the ongoing investigation.
Glen Govias, a former general manager of the fast-growing Dallas restaurant group, filed a $1 million lawsuit against the company, alleging a culture of racism, sexism, homophobia, and disdain for employees.
In 2021, two more lawsuits were brought against Vandelay by former employees who accused the company of encouraging discrimination against employees and customers based on race or appearance.
Vandelay Hospitality denied Govias’s claims in the suit. “VHG strives to maintain a professional and rewarding work environment for all of its employees,” reads a statement published in Eater Dallas. “The company vigorously disputes Mr. Govias’ allegations and trusts in the legal process to resolve these claims properly.”