In the relative calm before the publication of Brett Anderson’s shattering report about sexual harassment within the Besh Restaurant Group (with John Besh at the center of some of the allegations), attorneys for Shaya restaurant found a moment to sue Alon Shaya over the Shaya name, reports Ian McNulty.
Shaya Restaurant LLC attorneys filed the lawsuit on Friday in federal court against Alon Shaya in an effort to protect the trademark Shaya. Alon Shaya had previously filed a federal trademark request for his name, Shaya, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Shaya restaurant, according to the report. The letter demanded that that the restaurant stop using the name Shaya.
The lawsuit says that the first time the name Shaya was used in commerce was with Shaya restaurant and that the success of Shaya restaurant was due to the extensive PR machine that the Besh Restaurant Group employs.
After news broke that Alon Shaya wanted to split from the Besh Restaurant Group, he was fired and quickly replaced at all three of the restaurants (Shaya, Domenica, and Pizza Domenica) he helmed and also partly owned.
He started his own company, Pomegranate Hospitality, and quickly poached the new Shaya executive chef and James Beard Award-winner Zachary Engel, and Shaya GM Sean Courtney. Engel and Courtney had worked with Alon Shaya for years.
Alon Shaya had said he was trying to purchase Shaya restaurant from the Besh Restaurant Group. With so much of the talent gone from the restaurant, the name hanging in the balance, and Besh Restaurant Group facing a mountain of allegations that has provoked an international response, Shaya restaurant’s future seems uncertain.
Alon Shaya said that he finds the legal action deeply disturbing and will fight to protect his family’s name.
- John Besh, Alon Shaya Split Heading to Court Over Trademark Name [ADVOCATE]
- John Besh Restaurants Fostered Culture of Sexual Harassment, 25 Women Say [NOLA.COM]
- Statements by John Besh and His Company Regarding Alleged Sexual Harassment [NOLA.COM]
- Tracking Alon Shaya’s Split From John Besh [ENOLA]
- From Combat Marine to Celebrity Chef: How John Besh Built a Restaurant Empire Post-Katrina [NOLA.COM]