That Marfreless currently operating at its venerable semi-secret River Oaks Center location is an imposter, according to a suit filed last week in Harris County District Court.
Plaintiffs Marfreless Ventures, L.P. allege that when they left the Peden St. location last year, they fully intended to reopen elsewhere using the Marfreless name. They claim the right to do so based on their 2002 purchase of the "right, title, and interest in and to the names 'Marfreless International,' 'Marfreless,' and all derivations thereof."
The suit contends that not long after Marfreless Ventures left Peden St. and issued a press release stating their intention of reopening elsewhere, a group called Asylum Entertainment L.L.C. (registered agent: Casey Wallace) "swoop[ed] in" to Peden Street and reopened the bar under the old name and registered the assumed names "Marfreless," "MarfrelessHouston," and "Marfreless Houston." The suit claims that Asylum also launched a website announcing the "reopening" of the bar "at our same 2006 Peden location in River Oaks." The website also rattled off the bar's history and stated that "Marfreless was temporarily closed in March of 2013, when it transitioned to new ownership, the third in its distinguished history." (According to the suit, the make-out haven has been around since at least 1976.)
"The actions referenced above are a blatant attempt to confuse the public regarding the ownership nature of the name 'Marfreless' and dilute the mark 'Marfreless,'" contend attorneys Carl Dawson and Justin Hodge. They seek that the bar be prohibited from using the name, damages, and attorney's fees.
Though the "new" Marfreless side has not yet hired an attorney, Casey Wallace, registered agent for the company in charge, did not respond to a request for comment.