Eat This

The Other Side of the Fletcher’s Corn Dog Lawsuit

And we thought mustard vs. ketchup was the main controversy around corn dogs.
And we thought mustard vs. ketchup was the main controversy around corn dogs. Taylor Adams
Corn Dogs With No Name recently opened on Technology Boulevard in the vertex of Interstate 35 and Loop 12.

It's the creation of Jace Fletcher “Fletch” Christensen and her mother Vickie Fletcher, who have a passion for all things corny dog related, as they should. Neil Fletcher, Jace’s great grandfather and Vickie’s grandfather-in-law, invented the corn dog and brought it to the State Fair of Texas in 1942.

But, let us be clear right upfront (and for the purpose of a pending lawsuit): The stick food you find at Fletch is NOT the same stick food sold at the fair.

Christensen had the idea for this new spot in an epiphany-type moment after delivering the eulogy for her grandfather, Skip Fletcher (Neil's son), whom she refers to as the “Corn Dog King.”

“I knew what my calling was: I would be corny dogging. And I knew I had big shoes to fill,” she says of that moment.

“Out of all the possible names the Defendants could have chosen for their new venture ... ” — Fletcher's statement

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Christensen had a career in finance and real estate private equity, but with two young sons, she was looking for a new start.

Her concept was a modern spin on the corn dog and the state fair: healthier ingredients, gluten-free options, salads, funnel cakes with flaming marshmallows on top and a bar with wine and high-end whiskey.

In the dining room, a vintage carousel horse is perched atop a ledge, and antique wooden swings from a state fair ride hang from the ceiling — an ode to her parents who rode the swings on their first date.

There is a chalkboard for antsy toddlers and also a small iPad station.

The name for now is Corn Dogs With No Name. Literally. (Which has us thinking back to a certain chef.)

click to enlarge The defendant as a kiddo - JACE FLETCHER
The defendant as a kiddo
Jace Fletcher
This spot’s first name was Fletch, in part because Jace’s nickname has always been “Fletch.”

The corporation of Fletcher's Original State Fair Corny Dogs, LLC, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit on that name. The corporation is comprised of five owners: Glenda "GG" Fletcher and her children, Aaron and Amber Flecther, Skip's brother, Bill Fletcher and his son, William (WC) Fletcher.

Christensen wanted to fight it, and a judge said he needed 10 days to review the case.

After almost four months, no decision from the judge, and a restaurant and staff in a holding pattern, Jace acquiesced so she could open her restaurant.

Since Christensen agreed, the judge granted a preliminary injunction. The lawsuit is set for sometime later this year.

Fletcher’s released a statement this week that included the following:

“Out of all the possible names the Defendants could have chosen for their new venture, they chose the confusingly similar name ‘Fletch’ because it would associate them with Fletcher’s to consumers.”

Christensen and mother Vickie, wife of Craig Fletcher (who passed away in 2005), have been in the corn dog world all their lives. Vickie met Craig  at the fair, and it was “love at first sight.”

But in 2018, Glenda Fletcher asked Vickie to stop operating under the name Fletcher.

Vickie did so, and they contracted with all existing vendors under a new name, Fletcher-Warner Holdings, with a new product.

“Since they’d worked with my mom for so long, they were wildly enthusiastic about the elevated concept and new brand,” Christensen says.

And as the next step in Fletcher-Warner Holdings, the pair had their sights set on a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

That’s when, in September, Glenda Fletcher filed her case.

They came to an agreement to continue concession operations, but Jace and Vickie agreed to halt opening the restaurant until the judge’s ruling. That dragged on, so Jace and Vickie backed down.

So, here we are at Corn Dogs with No Name. Christensen had to remove any mention of the name “Fletch” throughout the restaurant, which required a lot of permanent markers, duct tape and a temporary sign out front.

On the advice of counsel, she’s to not introduce herself as “Jace Fletcher” or “Fletch.”

This week customers lined up for the upscale corn dogs and elotes on a stick and giggled at the name No Name. Old friends of Craig Fletcher came in and enjoyed seeing the evolution of the business, and others reminisced about working the fair together.

Christensen chatted with customers about opening other locations, taking input from those who drove across town. Most want her to keep the name No Name. But Christensen is planning to let her customers vote via social media.

On opening day, they sold out of every single item in the restaurant, less one and a half bananas.

Bananas! That’s not a bad name.

This story has been updated to reflect corrections to the original post.
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.