Chicago Co Tells Hawaiian Restaurants To Quit Using “Aloha”

By on August 2, 2018

August 2, 2018

Lawyers for a Chicago-based restaurant chain called Aloha Poke Co. have sent cease-and-desist letters to several restaurants, including some in Hawaii, demanding they quit using the words “aloha’ and “poke” – and apparently even just the word “aloha” – as part of the name of their business. (Poke is a Hawaiian dish, a kind of raw fish salad, that’s become trendy in many U.S. cities.) The move has provoked a flurry of criticism on social media, including an angry online rejoinder from a congressional candidate in Hawaii, accusing the Chicago company of cultural appropriation, and worse. In an online statement, the company said it had valid trademarks, that it was only trying to stop infringers from using “aloha” and “poke” in conjunction with each other, and that it was deeply sorry this issue has been so “triggering.” The company also said it had sent its requests ‘in a cooperative manner” and that no restaurant has closed as a result, but one Hawaiian restaurant owner who did comply, fearing legal action, said that it cost her thousands of dollars to redo signage, logos, and marketing.

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The Washington Post

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