Two Denver restaurant concepts have been fighting for one sol.
But by late August, SOL Cocina will open on 2nd and Columbine streets in Cherry Creek North, serving Baja-style Mexican cuisine in a casual setting.
The restaurant run by Baja Management LLC – a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based restaurant operator – in April sued the owners of Sol Kitchen, claiming they had infringed on the name registered for SOL Cocina, with three locations already in Arizona and California.
It happened two days before we were opening our doors,
said Leia Mayer, co-owner of Sol Kitchen, adding that she thought the lawsuit was a joke, since her intention was to serve juice, while SOL Cocina opted for tequila.
Prior to the suit, Andy and Leia Mayer planned to call their new coffee and juice bar in Lower Downtown Denver Sol Kitchen as a nod to their former business, Sunrise Market & Cafe in Panama City Beach, Florida. Last year, they moved their small family to Golden and signed a lease on the 16th Street Mall at the Petroleum Club Building.
Baja Management issued a cease-and-desist letter to the Mayers in January, who had already spent $10,000 on a website, branding, and logo design. SOL Cocina had protected its brand legally, though, and wouldn't provide any financial assistance to help the Mayers in the name-change process.
After consulting with an attorney, who said it could take up to six figures to try such a case, the Mayers decided to change their name to Bridge Span 14. They opened their doors April 13 in the same location.
Since starting their service, Leia Mayer says business has been "consistent," however she expresses concern about the safety and security of 16th Street after recent violence, including shots fired in June and other assaults.