(RestaurantNews.com) The founders of The Twisted Tuna are celebrating a small victory today in their legal case against a licensee. After years of disagreements, it now appears that Sid Sethi is finally removing The Twisted Tuna brand from the Port Salerno Florida restaurant location and replacing it with Fysh Bar and Grill.
The founders and brand owners Kenny and Rachelle Gibbs created The Twisted Tuna brand and concept in 2014 when the couple opened their first waterfront restaurant in Port Salerno. The brand was so well received that they experienced tremendous year over year growth. Wanting to expand to other locations they decided to seek a strategic partner to help grow their popular brand. Ultimately in late 2018 the couple ended up selling their Port Salerno location and licensing the use of their Twisted Tuna brand to Sid Sethi under specific terms and conditions.
Unfortunately, that arrangement began to sour very early on, and it quickly became apparent that the two parties would not be collaborating on any future projects together. As a result, in January of 2020 The Twisted Tuna brand owners filed a lawsuit in federal court against Sid Sethi, his father Amit Sethi and their respective companies.
The Twisted Tuna concept began with a combination of traditional Italian dishes from the brand owner’s previous restaurants along with a Japanese style sushi menu, popular American favorites and fresh local seafood and raw bar items. The unique, 4 kitchen concept boasted an all-day lunch and dinner menu and offered a happy hour and live music 7 days a week. In addition, The Twisted Tuna has a reward card program and daily discounts including Double Points Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wine Down Wednesday / Kids Eat Free, Buck-A-Shuck Thursday and Sushi Sunday.
While this new name change in Port Salerno seems to be a move toward resolving these restauranteur’s disputes, if you think the Fysh Bar and Grill menu and concept bear a striking resemblance to The Twisted Tuna’s, then you’re not alone. Kenny and Rachelle currently own and operate a Twisted Tuna branded restaurant located on US1 in Jupiter Florida. “It’s very important for us to maintain control over our brand,” said Kenny Gibbs.
According to Kenny Gibbs, Sid Sethi also hasn’t made a payment on their seller financing loans since early 2020. He says Sethi has made several offers to settle the case out of court but the cash being offered is too far below what the couple is still owed from their 2018 sale.
The two restaurant operators are still awaiting their trial date in federal court.
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