Houston’s Pappas Restaurants Demand San Antonio Favorite Papa’s Burgers to Change Names | Flavor | San Antonio


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  • Papa’s Burgers of San Antonio received a cease and desist letter from Pappas Burger of Houston.

Just when we thought we had overtaken last year’s signature beef between rival San Antonio burgers, local favorite Papa’s Burgers was drawn into a new name-based burger brawl.

Robert Walker, owner of nationally renowned Papa’s Burgers, said via Facebook Monday that he had received a cease and desist letter from Houston’s Pappas Restaurants empire demanding that his two San Antonio spots “immediately move away” from their long-standing names. The letter also required him to change his company logo and associated colors.

“We have been very lucky and are looking to expand into a few other locations, so in preparation for that we have sought to register our name. It turns out that the Pappas family had registered the trademark [Pappas Burger] name in 2008, so I was advised to try to fight for the name or contact them, ”Walker told the Running.

Yes, it’s the same Pappas family whose operations also include Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen, Pappasito’s Cantina and Pappas Bar-BQ. The group’s eight restaurant chains operate dozens of properties across Texas and seven other states, but only operate two Houston-based restaurants under the Pappas Burger flag.

The Running contacted the Pappas family but had not received a response at the time of going to press.

“They’re in the Houston market, we’re here in San Antonio, maybe there’s something we can find to work together,” Walker said, explaining that the step that he says has aggravated the dispute. “Out of respect, I made a humiliating request, asking them if we could continue using the name without worrying that they are doing exactly what they ended up doing.”

Walker contacted Pappas Restaurants and spoke with his general counsel, who asked him to provide his request in writing. Before Walker could produce a written statement, he was struck by the legal order, he said.

“Outside of left field, I received a letter that said the owner would not give consent at this time. And that we must immediately stop using the name Papa’s Burgers. It was their wake-up call, I guess, ”Walker said. “They’ve contacted us by mail about the marketing and the people confusing our places – and to be honest with you, we’ve won a lot of awards… There’s a value proposition there. I’m sure they have customers walking into their restaurants asking if they’re the fourth best burger in America.

Papa’s Burgers was named # 4 on the Yelp review site’s 2018 list of America’s 10 Best Burger Joins. This year, the mini-chain was also named Best Burger in Texas by the website Eat this, not that.

At the time of going to press, Walker accepts the circumstances. He says he’s disappointed – not that he will have to rename his business, but with the way Pappas Restaurants handled the situation.

“It’s a season in our lives that is unprecedented. People, small businesses are just trying to exist,” he said. “I really thought if a big brother had the chance to help a little brother, it would help him rise. That this would be the season to do it. We could have found a way to coexist.

Ironically, the cease and desist letter comes as construction of a third Papa’s is underway in far north San Antonio, giving Walker’s mini-chain a bigger footprint than Pappas Burgers.

“Houston is a whole different world. They can be in the San Antonio market with the [Pappadeauxs and Pappasitos] restaurants, but they don’t have the heart of San Antonio, ”Walker said. “I believe San Antonio is the spice of this world, so the first thing that came to my mind in this situation was no loss: They do not understand. They do not understand that we are speaking here of family, of community.

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