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Don Coqui fighting to save its name, as newcomer opens and says the ‘name’ belongs to him

Don Coqui to open next week

Don Coqui to open next week

Dec. 12, 2014 By Michael Florio

Call it an old fashioned food fight.

Don Coqui, a Puerto Rican restaurant that has three locations throughout New York, will be opening its fourth restaurant in Astoria next week.

The restaurant has no affiliation with the Don Coqui located at 28-18 31st Street—and now the two restaurants are fighting it out in court to see who has the right to use the “Don Coqui” name.

The newcomer, located at 22-55 31st Street, has filed suit in US District Court against the owners of the 28-18 31st restaurant claiming that it has no right to use the Don Coqui name—which it claims it trademarked.

“We are suing them to make sure they change their name,” said Jimmy Rodriguez, who is opening the 22-55 31st location. “They don’t have the trademark.”

Rodriguez said that the owners of the 28-18 31st Street location were originally affiliated with the Don Coqui chain of restaurants. The first year the 28-18 31st Street restaurant operated under a licensing agreement to use the Don Coqui name, he said. However, since early 2013 their association ended and the 31st location should have stopped using the name.

“They have used our name without our permission,” Rodriguez stated. “We want them to get rid of the name. We do don’t want to be associated with them.”

Rodriguez said that his Don Coqui restaurants focus more on dining, while the one at 28-18 31st Street operates like a club.

He is concerned that his restaurant’s reputation might be hurt by the 28-18 31st Street location.

The owner of Don Coqui at the 28-18 31 Street location did not want to comment on the matter.

However, in a statement issued in August, the owner of the 28-18 31st Street location, said: “In our opinion, the lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by … the Rodriguez family to bully us into giving up the name. It seems to us that they cannot compete based on quality of food and service, so they have apparently decided to use the courts.”

The judge hearing the case has not yet ruled on the matter.

The new “Don Coqui” will offer traditional Puerto Rican food like the one of at 28-18 31st Street–such as chicken and rice, shredded beef, crab legs, as well as steak and onions. The restaurant will have a full bar.

The establishment will seat 50 people and will be open from 12 pm to 12 midnight Sunday through Thursday, and from 12 pm to 2 am Friday and Saturday.

The location was previously Ditmars Station. Signs for the new Don Coqui went up yesterday.

 

Don Conqui on 31st

Don Coqui on 31st Street

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28 Comments

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support?

So the Ditmars location never took off. I knew what it was once i saw the red and white, and i thought…..what buffoon would open a Puerto rican restaurant in this location.

Then it became Joe’s….and Joe’s went under, and whomever was in partnership with the actual leaseholders turned out to be a thief who took a bunch of belongings from within the space when it went under.

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T wavey

I work for Jimmy, hes like a father who shows tough love or like the chinese parent who won’t speak to you until you become a doctor. Nothing but pearls of wisdom this guys drops , Fidel Castro only ate at one fucking spot while visiting the united states and that was at Jimmys joint the man is a pioneer, the food is good and he knows every aspect of the kitchen I’ve seen him move a chef to the side and make the Churasco correctly himself hes passionate about food and can handle any role in the business I am also a strong believer that there is a lesson in everything. My service has went up by the ten fold working at his establishment I am honored to work along side him to provide the community a true service.

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Roberto morales

Yeah some father, he screw up his whole family . The business under his kids name and he takes it all and pays them crap. It all go to people he owe so they don’t kill him cause he screw them over too. His own kids hate him too.

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El Chulo

The Fake Don Coqui are con artists…..You have Jack the want to be chef hanging on the Greek Jimmy’s coat tails. Meanwhile he is robbing the place blind.

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Jay Conga

You must not understand business very well benjamin montez. Trademark infringement is treated very seriously. Are you saying that you would ignore someone stealing your brand? Promise you’ll never let me be your business partner.

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benjamin montez

Yeah like who? The Fat Joe and JLO charity,,,,please stop having your family post comments Jimmy. Even if Astoria changed its name, I would still go there. I seen him order his people around like pieces of shit… Beto is right….eat somewhere else

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Roberto morales

Yeah Beto is right. jImmy gives only to His OWn Pocket Charity. He beats waiters out of their tips. We had a party and the nice people gave the waiters a $1000 tip, he ,gave each only 100 dollars. What you expect from a guy who got multiple DWI and ran his wife over with his car and went home to sleep. He also have bad coke habit and becomes mean and abusive.

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Eldjteddybear

PS Jimmy and the Rodriguez family are Big $ supporters of many fine charities and causes, sorry to hear that Deto defames alot of hard working people who make Don Coqui famous on an obvious Disgruntled employee rant. You know the kind I was late because Deto, Deto not coming in today, Deto Deto Deto.

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Eldjteddybear

I went to that freakin place with my family thinking that it was the Rodriguez Family owned, OMG we got robbed(I mean Really Robbed) and the food was a 4 out of 10. I called Jimmy (son of Jaime RIP) to complain and he was out of town, but I was informed that they were not affiliatted with that joint. Now that the real Rodriguez owned Don Coqui is open we will be showing support.

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Jay Conga

I knew that Jimmy wouldn’t take the stolen Don Coqui name and doncoqui.com website lying down. I wonder what those people were thinking. I’m sure there are two sides to the story but how does one benefit from stealing a brand name, something that eventually would have to be remedied in Jimmy’s behalf? A Good legal team will not only get the name situation straightened out but could also get Jimmy some triple damage awards.

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Jay Conga

You must not understand business very well benjamin montez. Trademark infringement is treated very seriously. Are you saying that you would ignore someone stealing your brand? Promise you’ll never let me be your business partner.

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Georgina

Let’s not forget that it was Jimmy Rodriguez location, so they were thought by a Professional, so they need to give the Master his name Back, shame on them, for even letting it get this far, be Humane and put up the white Flag! Stop being Bitter, and leave the Fame to those who know best,
JIMMY RODRIGUEZ !!!

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Jen

The name does belong to the “newcomer” to Astoria because it’s been theirs for years. Jimmy Rodriguez is Don Coqui.

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Dolly

Jimmy’ s restaurants are ghetto. He should take a class from don coqui on 31 street and learn some professionalism

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Jay

lmao…Before Jimmy took over the 31st location, they couldn’t draw enough people to support a hot dog stand. Jimmy saved that location. Hop off the bandwagon already. Perhaps you should acknowledge what that DUMP was before Jimmy arrived. Seems to me they BEGGED Jimmy to put a Don Coqui there, not the other way around.

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Blanca Garcia

This one is for Beto, I worked for Jimmy and too, at the the end of the Day it’s all part in the day’s work, do get over it, He is Very well Admired because of his Professionalism, He Keeps it 100 %, if it were your business you would be doing the same, so keep an open mind, if you think he was bad than you weren’t eager to see his teachings and learn something, this is man is a legacy from Generation and generations to come, so therefore he should fight for his Trademark, they work Hard, Very Good People the Rodriguez Family, so haters beware, there’s a New Sheriff in Town, Congrats on the new Location. Sincerely The Florist

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benjamin montez

The Florist must work for Jimmy….how convienient and unbiased when he’s putting money in your pocket.

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Berto.Burgos

Don’t forget how revolutionary Don Coqui is in The Bronx. Don Coqui is a landmark where ever they expand to. If the court system doesn’t work out, trust in time, they will have to change their name or close down for the sake of authenticity. No one likes opportunist. It can only be one Don Coqui. Several locations, but only one Don Coqui.

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Beto

I worked for Rodriguez before, and he is a really bad person, and I’m glad that karma finally is coming back to get him. Hope you lose Jimmy Rodriguez!!!

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Cruzavellan

The Rodriguez family IS Don Coqui. The only one using the name incorrectly is the establishment that is currently operation under their trademarked name without permission. If they really think they are so superior, call yourselves la isla Bonita or Perez palace and let’s see if you triumph. Gooo Jimmy Rodriguez. Take what is yours.

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Anonymous visitor

These resturants are over priced ; the name means nothing ; call it what ever , as long as the foud is good

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Michael

I have a friend who owns website …The Original Don Coqui.com… You think one of the parties may be interested in buying it

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