Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

My Brother's Bar makes a deal with Brothers Bar: Oh, brother!

The battle between My Brother's Bar and Brothers Bar & Grill is over. Attorneys for the two restaurants -- one the oldest continually operating saloon in the city, the other a link in a Wisconsin-based chain -- met with a magistrate last Friday and arrived at a deal.

Before it opened the massive sports bar at 1920 Market Street, in the building that had been the setting for Real World: Denver, MTV's long-running "reality" series, Brothers had filed a motion demanding that it be allowed to use the Brothers name in the Denver marketplace. But Jim Karagas, owner of My Brother's, was concerned another Brothers would result in confusion in the marketplace.

Exhibit A: Two weeks ago, when a John Hickenlooper fundraiser was held at Brothers, people kept walking into My Brother's to find the event.

The two sides managed to reach a confidential settlement, one that will allow Brothers to use the name "It's Brothers" in Denver, but also requires disclaimers of any connection to My Brother's in its advertising.

That means that Karagas, who's run My Brother's for forty years (and the space at 2376 15th Street had been a saloon for eighty years before that) won't get stuck in a courtroom for a lengthy trial -- a good thing. It also gives him more time to greet regulars at the door of My Brother's Bar, a place that's such an institution it doesn't even have a sign.

More from our Calhoun/Wake-Up Call archive: "Civic Center Park on a roll with daily mobile food trucks: Panic in noodle park!"

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun