Pat Snuffer is Ordered to Halt Construction of Pat’s Burger and Cheddar Fries in Dallas

patsOn November 21,  I reported Pat Snuffer was no longer associated with Snuffer’s and he would be opening Pat’s Burger and Cheddar Fries in the original Snuffer’s location on Greenville Avenue. You may recall, Mike Karns of Firebird Restaurant Group (El Fenix, Meso Maya) bought Snuffer’s debt and now owns all six locations.  In November Karns told SideDish:

“Firebird is in a unique position both as lender and restaurant operator. Had the note been held in the hands of the previous lender and there was a foreclosure, the brand could have faced a liquidation and complete closure.  It is Firebird’s desire to protect the Snuffer’s brand and ensure that it not only survives, but thrives.”

This morning, Robert Wilonsky reports Karn’s isn’t too happy with Pat Snuffer’s plan to open what appears to be a knockoff of Snuffer’s. Pat’s Burger and Cheddar Fries is under construction but it looks like Mr. Snuffer is going to have to hold the opening. A temporary restraining order has been issued and a hearing has been set for December 19.

Reminds me of when Mico Rodriguez lost the right to use his name on his restaurants. You sell your name or concept you gotta play by the rules. It’s business first, folks. Waiting for word.

Update: This statement from Mike Karns was just released.

“Yesterday, Firebird Restaurant Group requested and was granted a Temporary Restraining Order which prevents the opening of Pat’s Burger & Cheddar Fries on Greenville Avenue in Dallas.
In our mind and in addition to other concerns, this proposed restaurant and brand looks, feels and talks to the market as if it is a Snuffer’s Restaurant & Bar. Over the past months, the Greenville Avenue site has been developed from the ground up as a Snuffer’s, and only within the last few weeks was the name changed to Pat’s Burger & Cheddar Fries.
When Firebird Restaurant Group took over the operations of Snuffer’s Restaurants on November 21, it was to protect and preserve our collateral including the brand and its image. We told Mr. Snuffer that we would not accept anyone opening a look alike Snuffer’s Restaurant.
Now, we are unfortunately at the point of having to take legal action. However, we are hopeful that an expedited amicable resolution will be reached.”
Mike Karns
CEO and Owner, Firebird Restaurant Group, LLC

Update 6:25pm: Pat Snuffer issued this statement.

Pat’s Burger & Cheddar Fries denies liability for any claims asserted by Firebird Restaurant Group (FRG), the parent company of El Fenix Mexican Restaurants, among others. All requests from FRG have been denied, and a full hearing is set for next week. Pat’s Burger & Cheddar Fries believes it will prevail at the upcoming hearing as it has taken every effort to separate its new venture from any  similar operations, including Snuffer’s, which was taken over last month by  the plaintiff. With the most recent weather-delayed construction schedule, we are targeting a late December opening.

-Pat Snuffer, Pat’s Burger & Cheddar Fries

 

 

4 comments on “Pat Snuffer is Ordered to Halt Construction of Pat’s Burger and Cheddar Fries in Dallas

  1. Did Karns “tell” Pat “they would not accept anyone opening a look alike Snuffer’s Restaurant” or did he put that in the contract? Throughout the deal process, did Karns never ask one single question about what Pat was going to do with the original Greenville location that was being “developed from the ground up as a Snuffer’s” if that location wasn’t part of the sale?

  2. First of all, the new building on Greenville (in the old original Snuffer’s spot) looks more like a Red Lobster than a Snuffer’s. Second, the words “burger” and “cheddar fries” are not copyrighted or trademarked, as they appear on menus all over the state and the country. Seriously, Karns needs to move on to something else. Firebird made a mistake in not also acquiring the Greenville location, but its too late to do anything about it now. I hope Pat gets all damages caused by this stupid delay.

  3. Well copyright law is not the standard for their agreement, and aparently its not too late to do something about it if the TRO was granted and a hearing is scheduled.

    He signed the agreement to borrow the money and didn’t pay it back, which is equal to selling the concept per the terms of the loan.