Dueling Arcadias

Battle over name goes à la court

This town isn't big enough for two Arcadias.

Arcadia Farms Cafe has filed a civil lawsuit against Restaurant Arcadia, claiming trademark infringement and requesting that the restaurant change its name.

Arcadia Farms is an award-winning eatery at First Avenue and Goldwater in Scottsdale. It's been a Valley favorite for its creative American-style soups, sandwiches, salads and light entrees since 1990. Restaurant Arcadia is a contemporary American restaurant that opened in early January at 56th Street and Thomas in Phoenix. Restaurant Arcadia operates under the direction of chef-owner Michael Hoobler, former chef of T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort, and offers dishes such as olive-roasted free-range chicken breast with gold mashed potatoes and organic spinach.

According to the suit, the similarity in names -- and cuisines -- is confusing to the dining public, and the legal action became necessary after Restaurant Arcadia partner Tom Kaufman (of Scottsdale's Rancho Pinot Grill) refused to resolve the situation amicably. Kaufman contacted Arcadia Farms' owner Carolyn Sullivan last November to tell her of his plans for the restaurant name, but resisted her request that he choose another moniker, even after she submitted a written demand on December 6. In fact, he formed Restaurant Arcadia LLC on January 2 of this year.

Kaufman has said he chose the name for his restaurant's proximity to Phoenix's Arcadia neighborhood. Sullivan since has registered Arcadia Farms as a trademark for her restaurant, catering services, private-party facilities and packaged foods.

Kaufman currently is touring Italy to research menu ideas for a planned new restaurant, Hoobler had no comment, and Sullivan did not return calls. But according to the suit, Sullivan contends that the "Arcadia Farms name and mark has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people from Arizona and elsewhere." The name, logo and accompanying goodwill has "generated millions of dollars of sales to the public." Further, because of the confusion, her restaurant has been losing business from people confused about the two eateries' operating hours, and she's also received an angry call from a diner disputing a credit-card charge actually made at Restaurant Arcadia.

Though the restaurants are close -- less than three miles from each other -- and both offer seasonal American food with a fresh-from-the-garden emphasis, the similarities end there. Arcadia Farms is open only for lunch, served in a quaint, country cottage setting that's a hit with the ladies. Restaurant Arcadia currently serves only dinner, in a sleek, sophisticated ambiance. Both offer excellent food.

 
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