After a rocky delayed opening, Andy and Leia Mayer of Sol Kitchen faced an even bigger challenge, the Denver Post reported. The Downtown restaurant received a court summons from Baja Management LLC, a restaurant operator based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company claims Sol Kitchen has infringed on the service marks registered for Sol Cocina, a Mexican restaurant with three locations in Arizona and an anticipated venture in Cherry Creek. Sol means sun in Spanish, while cocina translates to kitchen.
The "Sol" in the Downtown restaurant is a tribute to the owners' former business Sunrise Market & Cafe in Florida. Last year, the couple left the Sunshine state to build an organic and locally-sourced cafe in Denver's business center.
An initial cease-and-desist letter was sent by Baja Management. During the ensuing phone communications, Leia Mayer pressed for Baja to financially assist in the name change but no agreement was reached.
Chuck Steese, Baja Management's attorney, argued that Sol Cocina has invested a "tremendous amount" in legal protection. The lawsuit additionally references registered trademarks for the "Sol Cocina" and logo from 2012 and the general use of the name since 2009. The Mayers must respond to the claim by May 2, but they are considering scrapping the Sol Kitchen name and implementing another.