The Name Game

Late word from Greg Goldfogel over at Ristorante Amore in Cherry Creek, who took possession of the former Sambuca address at 1320 15th Street (shown above) after New Year's Eve. Goldfogel had already started a massive turn-around of the space (redoing the bar, tearing up floors, re-covering or replacing most of the furnishings), when he encountered a complication: the name.

Goldfogel had originally planned (and long ago announced) that his new joint was going to be called Brio. And that's the way things stood up until last week, when he got a "nasty" cease-and-desist letter from the lawyers at Bravo! Development Inc. out of Ohio. It seems that the restaurant group already had a trademark on the Brio name -- and about twenty locations across ten states flying its Brio Tuscan Grill brand.

What's more, Bravo said it's looking at making a move into Colorado and doesn't want anyone else opening under what it considers its name. So what to do...

"Well, I didn't sleep much," says Goldfogel. "We all discussed all sorts of names, trying to keep with the theme." Problem was, Goldfogel's Brio logo had already been designed, the signage made, the new phone books printed with the new phone number: 893-BRIO. Not only that, but work was proceeding full speed ahead on-site and actually going even faster than Goldfogel had planned -- something that absolutely never happens in this business unless, somehow, getting the work done quicker will fuck an owner even more.

"I guess my lawyer and I didn't do enough due diligence on this," Goldfogel says.

But after an exchange of letters and a phone call between Goldfogel and one of the Bravo bosses (in which he asked again if he could use the name and was told, again, absolutely not), a decision has been reached. The new restaurant just off Larimer Square will now be called Alto. A new phone number has been procured (893-ALTO, natch), the logo altered, new signage designed and one more hurdle crossed. As for those phone books? Well, there's nothing to be done about them -- or all the press the new restaurant has already gotten under the Brio name.

Alto is still looking at an early February opening. In the meantime, Goldfogel's original restaurant, Ristorante Amore, is still open and serving at 2355 East Third Avenue. As a matter of fact, Amore will continue to be open and serving until June, when its lease expires and the landlord starts razing the space before building a new development.

A tip for anyone looking at a space there: Before you call the printers, do a quick Google search, huh? -- Jason Sheehan