A New Cup of Joe, Same As the Old Cup of Joe

Beginning in June we told you the tale of South Side of Lamar coffee house-slash-performance space Standard & Pours Coffee & Stocks and how the actual Standard & Poor's wanted it to change its name...or else. First there were threatening letters sent from Standard & Poor's owner McGraw-Hill Company to Standard & Pours owner Pascale Hall; then came the federal trademark infringement suit in August, followed by substantial national press coverage. At the time Hall told Unfair Park she was going to fight the suit; she was in the midst of trying to expand the coffee shop locally, and investors wanted her to keep the name she'd made more or less famous around town.

But the fight has ended, and the mighty Standard & Poor's appears to have gotten its wish. As of this week, Hall's coffee shop is now known as Opening Bell Coffee. This is despite the fact that on August 28, Hall's attorneys said in court documents that the original name was merely "a clever play on words" they believed protected by the First Amendment. The case file isn't closed at the courthouse, but there's been no activity since September. Apparently, it was cheaper to change the name than keep battling the behemoth in court. --Robert Wilonsky

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