NASHUA, N.H. — A Nashua bar is being sued by a Hampton bar because their names are confusingly similar — although it isn’t immediately obvious what the Nashua bar is called.
The bar at 522 Amherst St. in Gold’s Gym Plaza was called Sky Lounge and The Junkyard under previous owners, before it became the Evolution Entertainment Complex in April under current owner Bernie Goulet.
The Evolution sign that hung on the prominent marquee was removed some time ago, and the marquee has been blank since then, with some wires dangling from the metal frame. No bar name is visible on the door or windows of the establishment.
The only easy place to find the bar’s name is on a Facebook page that went live in August. There, it’s called Bernie’s.
That annoys the owner of a bar called Bernie’s in Hampton, which opened in June.
The Hampton bar’s owner, Al Fleury, filed suit in Rockingham County Superior Court, alleging the name is causing confusion among customers who mix up the two bars when they “check in” on Facebook, as well as among people in the industry.
“I deal with agents and promoters; there has also been confusion in that regard,” Fleury said. “When they think we’re involved with him, we have to say no, this is a different club.”
Goulet did not immediately return calls and emails for comment Thursday.
The Hampton Bernie’s — named, Fleury said, after his 3-year-old golden retriever — replaced a nightclub called La Bec Rouge that Fleury owned.
“I put up the name Bernie’s on a sign in March,” he said, saying the opening was delayed until June because of repairs required after a pipe burst.
The suit alleges that Goulet deliberately copied the script font of the Hampton Bernie’s.
“At first, I figured this guy will last six months, like he does at every club, and it will be done. But then, it got to be a problem,” Fleury said.
Fleury and Goulet previously worked together in association with Wally’s Pub in Hampton, which Fleury also owns.
Fleury said Goulet was “one of the promoters that we used at one point — we use a bunch of promoters” — but that they parted ways and Goulet became part of the Nashua entertainment scene.
Goulet was marketing manager for Arena Sportsbar & Nightclub, 53 High St., Nashua, last year, but severed connections with that establishment while opening the Evolution bar.
On March 14, Goulet filed a certificate of formation with the state for a New Hampshire limited liability company named Evolution Night Club LLC to operate a “restaurant/lounge” at 522 Amherst St., but that application doesn’t mention the name Bernie’s. The application was necessary because Goulet is based in Massachusetts.
The only Bernie’s registered as a business name with the New Hampshire secretary of state is Fleury’s application for Bernie’s Bar and Grill, which was filed Jan. 22.
Distributed by MCT Information Services