Will Reno continue to Feast?
Feast, a Reno fine-dining restaurant located on the cusp of Downtown and Midtown, is facing a potential name change. The Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which has a buffet in the casino called Feast Buffet, is threatening a lawsuit against Feast claiming trademark infringement.
The Feast in Reno received a cease and desist letter about two months ago from Station Casinos, LLC. The letter said, “In short, we believe your unauthorized use of FEAST in connection with the same services Station Casinos offers under its federally registered mark constitutes unfair competition and trademark infringement under federal law.”
The Reno restaurant is co-owned by mother-and-son team Esmeralda and Alex Long. Feast offers a selection of American-style cuisine.
“We by no means were trying to copy a Las Vegas casino buffet, our restaurant is a place to come to sit and dine, not a place to stand in line and load up a plate,” Alex said in a recent press release.
Station Casinos is headquartered in Las Vegas and they own and operate more than a dozen hotels and casinos in southern Nevada. According to their website, their properties Red Rock Casino Resort Spa, Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa Casino, Palace Station Hotel & Casino, Sunset Station Hotel & Casino, Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel, Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino and Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel all house buffets called Feast Buffet within the establishments.
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System, Feast Buffet is registered to Station Casinos, Inc. with the disclaimer that, “no claim is made to the exclusive right to use ‘BUFFET’ apart from the mark as shown (on their logo).”
“We were extremely surprised” when the we received the letter, Alex said in an interview with NNBW. “(Feast) is such a generic name; it can be a noun and it can be a verb.”
He said when they were naming the business they searched for other restaurants named Feast in the Reno area and that another search was done when they submitted for their business license. Alex also pointed out there are other restaurants around the country not associated with Station Casinos with the name Feast.
Feast opened for business November 2015. They currently employ between 10 to 15 people and serve lunch and dinner. Prior to opening Feast, Alex and Esmeralda owned the Reno breakfast and lunch establishment on Center Street called The Little House.
“The name Feast, came from us tossing around names for the longest time,” The owners said at the time of the restaurant’s opening. “We were considering going from The Little House to The Little Building. Then, one day a friend said: ‘why not call it Feast or Famine?’ We thought about it and well, feast is good and famine is not, so we left out the bad and went with the good.”
Alex explained that since they opened, they have put a lot of time and money into the branding of their business and making the name known in the Reno community. Changing the name would mean having to change the signage, menus, website and more.
According to Alex, they are currently waiting for more information from Station Casinos before they decide how they want to proceed. He said that the business received free legal advice from a local lawyer and they are hoping to be able to speak with Station Casinos about the potential lawsuit since the concept of Feast is much different from a buffet. He explained that they do not want to have to change the name.
“We feel we are right on this issue,” he said.
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