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Stubb’s Bottled Barbecue Sauce is Suing Stubb’s Bar-B-Q [Updated]

Barbecue inception.

Stubb's Bar-B-Q
Stubb's Bar-B-Q
Scott P./Yelp
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

One World Foods, Inc., the business which produces retail bottles of Stubb’s barbecue sauce, isn’t related to the Red River restaurant of the same name where presidents and non-presidents alike eat barbecue and watch concerts. The company is suing Stubb's Bar-B-Q, as reported by Austin Business Journal, to halt current expansion plans to make sure that customers do not get confused.

One World claims that Red River Stubb’s isn’t allowed to run any other iterations of the restaurant besides the original location and the Mean Eyed Cat outpost. There is one running in Graceland Grocery, and another planned for updated dive bar Lala’s Little Nugget. All of these are run by (the restaurant) Stubb’s co-owners Jeff Waughtal and Matt Luckie, who are also part of FBR Management. The lawsuit, which was filed right before Thanksgiving on November 25, stated:

Defendant’s use and promotion of the Stubb’s marks at Stubb’s at Graceland Grocery and Lala’s Little Nugget has resulted in and will continue to result in incalculable harm to plaintiff because of a likelihood of confusion among customers.

One World bought the Stubb’s branding in 1991 from original owner, C.B. "Stubb" Stubblefield. There was an oral contract in 1996 that allowed the restaurant to continue using the name and related-materials.

Stubblefield opened Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in 1968. FBR also operates Rattle Inn, Star Bar, Gibson Street Bar, and Lavaca St.

Update, January 21, 2016: Stubb's the restaurant issued a response to One World Foods' lawsuit, as shared by Austin Business Journal, reiterating it upheld the agreement that each company used the brand for separate purposes:

Throughout the parties’ coexistence, One World Foods…has used the mark Stubb’s for barbecue sauce, marinades, rubs and related goods, while [Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Co.] has used the mark for restaurant, catering, entertainment, live music and related reserves [...] At no point in 1996 or thereafter did One World Foods or anyone on its behalf limit [Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Co.] through a license agreement oral or otherwise. Rather, each party’s use has been without geographic limitation or control by the other party.

Graceland Grocery

8600 West Highway 290, , TX 78736 (512) 301-8552 Visit Website

Stubb's Bar-B-Q

801 Red River Street, , TX 78701 (737) 465-1218 Visit Website

Lala's Little Nugget

2207 Justin Lane, , TX 78757 (512) 487-5297 Visit Website