"As if you'd spend $3 million opening it here if you didn?t have the licence": executive chef Miguel Maestre (centre left) at the Cafe Del Mar Sydney VIP Launch. Photo: Belinda Rolland
Last week’s opening of a Café del Mar in the former site of Coast restaurant at Cockle Bay Wharf was sullied by reports the original Café del Mar in Ibiza has taken issue with the opening of the Sydney branch, after it took advantage of a trademark registration “made in bad faith several years ago’’.
It stressed its legal team is working to bring “non-authorised venues down”. Back in Australia, lawyers were also hard at work. Miguel Maestre, the executive chef for Café del Mar in Australia, described the claims as nonsense.
“It’s not like we’re in some dodgy country where you can get away with that. As if you’d spend $3 million opening it here if you didn’t have the licence,” Maestre says.
Back in Ibiza, the famed bar is crowing after a Dubai venue stopped using the name. John Zappia, from Café del Mar Australia, insists there has been no wrongdoing.
“We have an exclusive licence to use the Café del Mar trademark in connection with restaurant and bar services. The licence was granted by Ramon Guiral Broto, one of the founders of Café del Mar Ibiza,” Zappia says.
“I can only think there’s some internal spat between partners over there,” he adds. Zappia has taken his own legal advice and is demanding a retraction.