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Room with a Beef

Veuve, the sprawling 10,000-square-foot restaurant and concomitant hip vibe lounge Nine7Two on Belt Line Road (in the former Django space), is no more. It was felled by trademark infringement over the famed yellow-labeled Veuve Cliquot Champagne. It seems Veuve Cliquot parent Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the luxury brands group that has had Veuve Cliquot in its roturier fold since 1987, firmly pressed the issue, throwing out terms like "trademark dilution." Thus, the Addison restaurant will hence forth be known as Vue, which is French for "view," instead of Veuve, French for widow.

This has Veuve, er, Vue owner Steve Williams perpissed -- French for perplexed and furious. "When we came up with the name Veuve, we checked every type of legal [avenue] to use that name, and everybody said fine," he insists.

Williams says Moet Hennessy even shipped him exclusive Veuve Cliquot bottlings, including a bubbly bottle 4 foot tall as a kind of restaurant hood ornament. The restaurant vigorously pushed the pour with Moet Hennessy's blessing. What gives?

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"There were a couple of restaurants threatened by us coming in, which made no sense to me," he says. Williams says the restaurants prodded Moet Hennessy. Hence LVMH suggested they would bury him in expensively boring legal prose if he did not commence a name change.

Veuve will be rechristened Vue on Groundhog Day at 7 p.m. with a ceremonial champagne bottle smash in the restaurant's vestibule. This will be a proper birth, as the grand opening celebration last December occurred while the restaurant was still under construction, leading some to rumor that the thing was undercapitalized and primed for embalming. Now construction is complete, and Veuve has a new name and a new attitude.

"I'm going to be boycotting anything with Veuve on it," promises Williams. Boycott is French for "up yours." --Mark Stuertz

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