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NoHo Barcade Seeks Alcohol License, Still Facing Trademark Lawsuit

Owners of the new venue go before a city commission next month and say they want to resolve a legal matter with a small chain of East Coast bars that allege infringement.

The owners of the upcoming NoHo Barcade at 5249 Lankershim Blvd. have a hearing scheduled Dec. 21 for a license to serve beer and wine, all while a trademark lawsuit over the business's name still lingers.

Patch reported in September of the bar in the NoHo Arts District that looks to have craft beer and vintage arcade game machines on hand for the over-21 crowd.

Around that time, another spot in New York that's got copyright dibs on the Barcade name filed suit for trademark infringement. Barcade has three locations on the East Coast, including one in Brooklyn that started operating under the premise of an arcade for adults since 2004.

Owner Paul Kermizian said he would like NoHo Barcade to change its name before opening or else he could plan on seeking damages.

"They're a threat to our brand and to future expansion," he said.

Kermizian added he's filed about 30 similar lawsuits against others around the country who tried to open their own Barcade.

The people behind NoHo Barcade is a family that's owned Japanese Auto Tech Services in North Hollywood for 25 years.

Satit Pongsai, a son of the family, will go before the LA City Planning Commission Dec. 21 at 8:30 a.m. seeking approval for a conditional use permit to sell beer and wine.

Assistant Planner Marianne King said the lawsuit would have no bearing on the commission's decision. If granted city approval, Pongsai still would need a final sign off from California's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

He says NoHo Barcade could open by February if all goes according to plan, which could entail changing the bar's name.

"We're not here to cause problems, we're trying to come to an agreement," Pongsai said, adding: "If they're requesting a name change we want to work that out."

But Kermezian said there's been little effort toward reaching that agreement due to a lack of communication. Aside from complying to take NoHo Barcade's Facebook down and the delivery of the cease and desist letter, he said he hasn't heard from the new venue's attorneys.

Kermezian said the silence has prompted his legal team to enter the discovery phase of the lawsuit, though he would still welcome NoHo Barcade adopting a new moniker.

Pongsai he hasn't spoken to his own attorney in months, but wants to resolve the issue soon.

"We're open to an agreement," he said.

Bob Peppermuller December 11, 2012 at 07:09 PM
I hope they find another name soon.
Mike December 12, 2012 at 08:01 AM
an arcade in the upcoming and almost booming No Ho Arts District is a huge mistake. Adding liquor to it is a complete disaster. No Ho is trying to keep the bad element out of this area and an arcade with even just beer & wine is a headache in the making. Please don't ruin a good thing.
Jean Baudrillard January 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM
An arcade in the upcoming and almost booming No Ho Arts District is a great idea. Adding liquor to it is a complete victory. No Ho is trying to keep the good element growing in this area and an arcade with even just beer & wine is a Xanadu in the making. Please make happen a good thing.

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