PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – An internationally known strip club chain is suing a South Florida doughnut shop, claiming the company is intentionally confusing customers by taking advantage of its brand.
Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen's Club recently filed a lawsuit against South Florida-based Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee.
Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee marketing director Jonathan Zakim, 26, told Local10.com that co-owner Davin Tran opened the flagship location, on the corner of Commercial Boulevard and State Road A1A in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, 17 months ago. Since then, he said, the doughnut shop has expanded to Boca Raton, Sunrise and the Sawgrass Mills mall.
Zakim said he first heard about the lawsuit, filed in South Florida court, about a month ago.
"To be completely honest, we were a little bit flattered," Zakim said.
Zakim said Spearmint Rhino is a pretty well-known strip club.
"So the fact that they thought our name and our brand could be confused with their brand is quite the complement," he said.
Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee received a big boost in business after catering actress Sofia Vergara's wedding brunch at The Breakers last month. Since then, Zakim said, Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee has found steady business catering events at the posh Palm Beach resort.
The lawsuit is seeking Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee to change its name, take down its website and close its stores. However, Zakim said the business was thoroughly vetted before the first location ever opened.
"We went through strenuous efforts to get our name trademarked and our logo trademarked," he said.
Spearmint Rhino has 20 locations throughout the United States and overseas. Its nearest location is in West Palm Beach.
Zakim said Rhino Doughnuts & Coffe is in no way affiliated with exotic dancing, and he's confident that it is not infringing upon Spearmint Rhino's clientele.
"We have no strip poles in our doughnut shop," Zakim said.
In fact, Zakim said they're moving ahead with plans to open a new location in Miami sometime next year.