Fukyu sushi bar in Montreal forced to change ‘inappropriate’ name

From Montreal Gazette:

A Montreal restaurant has been ordered to put up a new sign, after the name “Fukyu Bar à Sushi” was said to be in bad taste by a Quebec Superiour Court judge.

Named after a type of kata practised in Japanese martial arts, “Fukyu” may have been a hit with certain diners who snickered and took pictures of the sign outside the recently-opened Côte des Neiges restaurant.

It was less amusing to the judge, who sided with the Jean Talon St. restaurant’s landlord and neighbouring tenants.

“As it is, the word is clearly inappropriate given its meaning when pronounced in a Montreal context,” wrote Judge Kirkland Casgrain in his Aug. 23 decision which gave restaurant part-owner John De Melo 24 hours to cover up the word “Fukyu.”

It’s an unusual case in commercial real estate, where disputes erupt between tenants over bad smells or loud noises, but rarely over signage, said lawyer David Ghavitian who represented the restaurant’s landlord L.G. Plaza Inc. While edgy branding has creeped into retailing, like the company French Connection (FCUK), a play on the F-word doesn’t go over as well in real estate, where the ability to attract and keep tenants is key to a property’s value.

“It’s not so much for the tenants who are there, but it’s for the next tenants where there is a vacancy,” said Bernie Marcotte, senior managing director of Cushman & Wakefield Ltd. Montreal.

“If you’re an accounting firm, you might not want to be associated with that.”