Sammy Hagar‘s company is demanding that a federal judge shut down an allegedly unauthorized Hollywood location of his Cabo Wabo Cantina, claiming that a former franchisee has gone rogue and is damaging the rock star’s reputation.
Attorneys for Hagar’s company (Red Head Inc.) sued last month, claiming that franchisee Robert Azinian had opened a new Cabo Wabo on Hollywood Blvd across from the TCL Chinese Theatre even though his licensing deal had been terminated. Now, in a new filing Monday, they asked for an immediate injunction blocking Azinian from continuing to use the name or any other company branding on his new eatery.
“Every day that the Cabo Wabo Cantina at the new Hollywood location continues to operate under the ‘Cabo Wabo’ brand, it soils the name, reputation, and goodwill that Red Head has developed,” the company’s lawyers write. “Defendants were instructed to discontinue any and all use of the marks, but they have ignored that request.”
Hagar and his Van Halen bandmates opened Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 1990; after buying out his partners, he later launched a line of tequila under the same name. Hagar sold the liquor brand to Gruppo Campari for $101 million, but his Red Head Inc. continues to operate the restaurant in Cabo and later franchised locations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Last month, Red Head sued Azinian in California federal court, claiming he had essentially gone rogue after years of successfully running the Los Angeles location. The lawsuit claimed that Azinian had closed his original spot on Hollywood Blvd and “surreptitiously” relocated across the street, all without seeking the required approvals. They warned the new Cabo Wabo was already causing confusion with customers, citing Instagram comments like one in which a user wondered “is Sammy Hagar still affiliated?”
In Monday’s filing, Red Head echoed those arguments in asking for a preliminary injunction, which will block Azinian from continuing to use any Cabo Wabo branding while the case plays out. Without such an order, Hagar’s company warned that the unauthorized eatery could cause severe damage to Cabo Wabo’s reputation.
“Defendants’ continue to use the Cabo Wabo marks in connection with their operation of the restaurant — but Red Head has no oversight, control, or even visibility as to the quality of any one aspect of Defendants’ business, such as the quality of décor, the quality of staff, the quality of materials, or the quality of food,” the lawyers write. “Red Head currently has no control over any of it.”
Neither side immediately returned requests for comment on Tuesday.