NEW YORK, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- "It is business as usual at DON COQUI in Astoria, Queens," reports John Mangan, one of the restaurant's managers. The Astoria, Queens DON COQUI location, owned by Eleftheria Restaurant Corp. and managed by Mangan, Jimmy Mitsios and George Nikolos remains open for business under the DON COQUI name despite efforts to get the the restaurant to change its name. Eleftheria and Mangan are currently litigating in Manhattan Federal Court against Privado Marketing Group over the parties' respective rights to use the DON COQUI service mark. The case is titled Privado Marketing Group LLC et al v. Eleftheria Rest Corp.1:13-cv-03137-ER and is pending in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Notwithstanding some recent reports to the contrary, the judge hearing the case has not made any final decisions and has not issued any order barring Eleftheria from using the DON COQUI mark in Astoria. The Court's recent decision ruled only on a technical, procedural matter dealing with the sufficiency of certain of Eleftheria's allegations. The Court required Eleftheria to refile its claims with more detail. The refiling has been made, the additional details provided, and the case will now continue. The formal request to the court which led to the recent decision did not even seek an order barring Eleftheria from using the DON COQUI mark. In fact, when Privado previously asked the court to prevent Eleftheria from using the DON COQUI mark in Astoria, the request was rejected because Privado could not prove the requisite facts. Thus, according to the court, Eleftheria has the right to use the DON COQUI mark in Astoria while the case is pending. Court Order dated July 2, 2013.
Eleftheria and Mangan are confident that they will ultimately prevail and have their right to use the DON COQUI mark in Astoria confirmed by the court. "In our opinion, the lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by Privado and the Rodriguez family to bully us into giving up the name. DON COQUI Astoria is consistently rated higher by consumers, on sites such as Yelp and Foursquare, than the locations operated by the Rodriguez family. Its seems to us that they cannot compete based on quality of food and service, so they have apparently decided to use the courts to try to achieve their goal of eliminating competition," explained Mangan.
Mangan and Mitsios, together with one member of the Rodriguez family, were two of the three members of the first entity formed specifically for the purpose of operating a DON COQUI restaurant. Rodriguez family ring-leader, Jimmy Rodriguez, was not part of the original company and has never had an ownership interest in any of the entities that own or operate any of the DON COQUI restaurants, and is not a party to the lawsuit. Nevertheless, Jimmy Rodriguez claimed to be the owner of the DON COQUI service mark before he allegedly transferred it to Privado. As part of the lawsuit, Eleftheria and Mangan seek a declaration that Jimmy Rodriguez committed fraud in connection with his filings at the US Patent and Trademark Office and seek cancellation of Privado's registration. "We are confident we can prove that Jimmy Rodriguez intentionally provided false information to the Trademark Office and look forward to having our day in court," concluded Mangan. DON COQUI remains open for business as Astoria's premier destination for authentic Puerto Rican cuisine and live entertainment.
About DON COQUI Astoria, Queens:
Don Coqui is the premier destination for purely authentic Puerto Rican cuisine. Don Coqui elegantly blends two concepts into one – fine dining and a chic lounge. Located in the heart of Astoria, New York – Don Coqui serves all of Puerto Rico's greatest delights. Signature items include our famous Pernil (Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder), Paella, Empanadas, and Churrasco (Skirt Steak). We also offer American staples such as the Porter House Steak, Barbecue Ribs, Baked Clams, and many more culinary delights sure to satisfy any appetite. Fine dining is just one of our specialties; Adjacent to our dining room, Don Coqui features an elegant lounge designed by world renowned designer Antonio DiAronzo, equipped with state of the art sound and LED lighting designed to create an unforgettable ambience like no other. The shortcut to Puerto Rico has arrived in Astoria New York bringing its great tasting recipes and the best live entertainment our culture has to offer.
DON COQUI in Astoria, Queens:
28-18 31st Street
Astoria, NY. 11102
For reservations call 718.274.7474
SOURCE DON COQUI Astoria