A Mexican stand-off is underway in Melbourne over the concept of ‘Taco Tuesdays’.
Fast food chain Salsas is threatening legal action against Footscray pub The Reverence Hotel, affectionately known as ‘The Rev’, over its continued use of the term to spruik its Tuesday-based specials on Mexican cuisine. And your m8s The Smith Street Band are having none of it.
The Smithies drummer Matt Bodiam is actually the proprietor of the beloved local establishment, which has become famed for its live music and cheap Tuesday tacos since he and his partner Melanie first took over the business in 2012.
And now, after 6 years of good times, Salsas Fresh Mex has fired off a warning shot in the form of a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that The Rev wipe the phrase “Taco Tuesday” off its website, social media accounts and IRL specials boards.
“We assume that you are unaware that Salsas is the owner of the registered trade mark TACO TUESDAY in respect to the provision of Mexican-style food and restaurant services,” the letter from Salsas Holdings marketing manager Rebecca Woods states.
“The Mexican-style food offered by Salsas under that trademark has become extremely well and favourably known among members of the public in Australia, and as a result is associated with Salsas,” it continues, demanding that the venue “immediately cease” using the term.
The whole thing has prompted The Smithies to hit Twitter and vent their take on the “very funny situation”.
“The corporates at Salsas Fresh Mex are not satisfied with having some of the crappiest food of any Mexican chain and have now decided they’ll also have the crappiest ideas and are threatening The Rev with legal action over use of the phrase ‘Taco Tuesday’,” they explain to fans, arguing that Salsas are just mad jelly because The Rev’s Mexican food is just so damn *flame emoji*.
“The Rev is a cultural hub and has been bringing great food and bands to Footscray for the last 5 years. They do $3 tacos and beers every Tuesday and lemme tell you, it’s a fucking fun and delicious time. Salsa’s must be jealous. Long live The Rev.”
Speaking with The Age, Smith Street beatman and Rev head Matty admits he had a solid LOL upon first reading the letter, but soonafter realised the potential seriousness of the whole situation.
“I had a bit of a giggle, then [thought] I better look into it,” he said.
“I can’t believe someone can trademark ‘Taco Tuesday’; it would be like trademarking ‘Happy Hour’ or ‘Tight-Arse Tuesday’, although perhaps someone has trademarked those as well,” he continued.
“’Taco Tuesday’ is something we all had in our childhood; it’s like fish and chip Friday – it belongs to everyone.”
Matt was also pretty incredulous about the concept of anyone confusing his pub with the Salsas fast food chain, for obvious reasons.
“We are a band venue that offers Mexican-style food; they are a large food court business. I don’t think we really have any kind of crossover,” he argued.
But a Salsas spokesperson said the company has a right to defend its legal trademarks.
“The term ‘Taco Tuesday’ was trademarked by Salsas Fresh Mex in 2011 and has since been used extensively across the brand’s marketing and promotional efforts,” she said.
“Legally we must defend this against companies both big and small. We believe it is our responsibility to inform all businesses of our trademark ownership to best protect the interests of our small business owners.”
Things are definitely spicing up in the battle for Taco Tuesday.
Read the letter that Salsas sent to The Rev — along with The Smith Street Band’s tweets — below, and stay tuned for more on this hot saga.
The Rev is a cultural hub and has been bringing great food and bands to Footscray for the last 5 years. They do $3 tacos and beers every Tuesday and lemme tell you, it’s a fucking fun and delicious time. Salsa’s must be jealous. Long live The Rev.
— The Smith Street Band (@smithstband) June 14, 2018