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Status of lawsuit ‘unclear’ after Seattle Kraken agrees to change name of restaurant

Early designs for the 32 Bar & Grill. (Courtesy photo)

The Seattle Kraken announced Friday that it has officially changed the name of a restaurant that’s been at the center of an ongoing lawsuit. As for whether that lawsuit will continue forward, that remains unclear.

University District bar suing NHL’s Seattle Kraken

Now set to be called the 32 Bar & Grill, the restaurant — located inside the team’s Northgate practice facility — will be run by Mick McHugh, formally of F.X. McRory’s. Its new name was chosen to pay homage to the “32,000 fans [who] made it possible for us to become the NHL’s 32nd franchise, and the freezing point for ice which our players and community will skate on at the facility.”

The team had initially decided to name the restaurant the Kraken Bar & Grill. Shortly after the name was announced, a University District punk rock bar called the Kraken Bar & Lounge filed a $3.5 million lawsuit, alleging the newly-minted NHL team was harming the 10-year-old venue’s brand.

“Before they announced the name of the restaurant, we were getting people calling asking, ‘hey, where can we get season tickets?’” the bar’s lawyer Mark Walters told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross in late May. “And we had some people who wanted to make the bar a hockey bar, and that’s certainly not what we want.”

Not long after the lawsuit was filed, the NHL team indicated that it planned to change the name of its restaurant to avoid any potential confusion, before finalizing that name change on Friday.

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In a statement issued to MyNorthwest on Friday, Walters addressed the status of the bar’s lawsuit in the wake of the name change, noting that “settlement talks are still ongoing.”

“It’s still unclear whether the team will agree to limit its use of the name in other ways that would help alleviate the confusion,” he added. “But we are hopeful that a deal can be reached that both the team and the bar are happy with.”

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