Surf-themed neighborhood bar chainery Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar has ended its ties to the beloved New Orleans location at 701 Tchoup after a dispute between the founder and operators, Ian McNulty reports.
Lucy's founder Bruce Rampick terminated the licensing agreement with operators TWTB Inc. in fall 2015 due to "violations of the terms of a trademark license," but this comes hot on the heels of TWTB filing a lawsuit against Rampick— reportedly Rampick formed the TWTB entity as a majority owner in 1992, but "was recently forced out" with current operator Frank Eugene Raper and company claiming he "violated fiduciary duties... alleging theft and fraud from the business," which the court hasn't yet ruled on.
After losing the trademark, TWTB then tried to change the bar's name to just "Lucy's", complete with a different logo, but Rampick put the kibosh on that with a court-issued injunction. TWTB is also not allowed to have anything surfing-related in the bar or on the menu, so don't even try to roll up into the newly renamed 701 Bar & Restaurant in your Spicoli slip-on Vans, brah.
The menu at 701 is still comprised of burgers, tacos and Tex Mex eats, and it appears to be business as usual, but according to Todd Price, TWTB reportedly has no intent of renewing the lease, which ends in October 2017. Rampick has already expressed interest in licensing the Lucy's trademark to one John Kirkendoll, who will likely reopen Lucy's at the location when 701 shutters.
A Baton Rouge location of Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar is still underway as planned from the Walk-Ons team.