CHICAGO — A West Loop bar wanted to show some flair for Halloween, but lawyers stopped them.
Moneygun, at 660 W. Lake St., was planning to decorate itself as restaurant chain TGI Fridays for Halloween, but the chain known for its potato skins and all-American fare sent the bar’s owners a strongly worded cease-and-desist letter warning them not to use the TGI Fridays name.
“It’s certainly a rite of passage to dress up as your personal hero for Halloween,” wrote TGI Fridays lawyer Leanne Stendell. “Unfortunately (for you — not us), trademark law requires us to protect our brands and to take action against any use that might cause confusion or diminish the value of our trademarks.”
The chain gave the restaurant gifts to follow through on Moneygun’s plans for a Halloween celebration through Wednesday. Moneygun will still serve potato skins and mudslides as an homage to TGI Fridays for a party they are now calling “Wear the Flair.”
“When we found out we might not be able to dress up as our hero for Halloween, we were devastated,” Moneygun partner Will Duncan said in a prepared statement. “Luckily, the lawyers explained there are just a few things we really can’t say.”
TGI Fridays spokesman Chris Vary said the chain’s big issue with Moneygun’s plans was the bar’s planned use of the Fridays’ logo.
“It’s a little bit of tongue-in-cheek,” Vary said of the letter. “We recognize we are a fun brand, and we recognize the fun and spirit of the program.”
Here’s the letter:
This isn’t the first cease-and-desist letter issued to a Chicago bar this fall. Netflix put the kibosh on Emporium Logan Square’s “Stranger Things” pop-up last month.