2 Georgia restaurants fight over name “Local”

Illustration for article titled 2 Georgia restaurants fight over name “Local”
Photo: Rey Del Rio (Getty Images)

Say you wanted directions to that restaurant—you know, the one called Local—in Marietta, Georgia. Google Maps might ask you whether you mean Local On North or The Marietta Local. Is that too confusing for customers?

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A Cobb Superior Court judge thought so, recently granting The Marietta Local a temporary restraining order against the couple behind a proposed location of a restaurant called Local On North, which hoped to open just 459 feet away. Marietta Daily Journal reports Local On North has three other locations by that same name, but that the fourth’s proximity to The Marietta Local is what sparked concern.

“The existence of a second restaurant named ‘Local’ so close to the existing restaurant called ‘Local’ causes confusion and damage to the Local, LLC (The Marietta Local); and because of the immediate publicity does damage to the Plaintiff for which there is no adequate remedy at law,” Senior Judge Adele Grubbs wrote, per the Daily Journal. In its complaint, The Marietta Local stated 75 customers inquired about the proposed Local On North, which owners cite as evidence of confusion.

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I am no legal scholar, but here’s my hot take: Is “Local” really such an exciting name that it’s worth fighting over? If there were merely two restaurants opening near each other both hoping to use the term, I’d suggest they just dig for something that isn’t so cliche. But The Marietta Local has been in business since 2014, and Local On North operates three other restaurants by that name. Both seem to have legitimate claims to the word “local,” and I can see that changing the name of either establishment could be detrimental to the restaurants’ branding. What at first seemed to me like a conflict with an easy solution—oh fine, one of you just pick a non-Local name—is actually a bit murkier.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

So, the even more insane part about this is that everyone wants this name for a reason, that reason being that there is a famous dive bar in Atlanta simply called “The Local.” It’s been around for as long as I can remember, it has no website beyond a basic page showing only a list of songs available for karaoke, and it has some of the best wings in town. When The Local finally banned smoking inside a couple years ago it was front page news (well at least every hipster and local in town was talking about it).

Other spots have been trying to steal the name for years, yet The Local remains.