Bisous Bisous Patisserie, an Uptown bakery that’s a stalwart of the city’s pastry scene, is raising cash to file a lawsuit against a similarly named restaurant that’s causing some major confusion for diners.
Bisous Bisous owner Andrea Meyer detailed the ongoing issues with nearby restaurant Bisou, a Houston export that opened its doors in June in a post to a GoFundMe fundraiser that she hopes will raise $150,000 to pay for attorneys to sue Bisou’s owners over the confusion. According to that GoFundMe page, Meyer sent Cle Group, the Houston-based hospitality group that owns Bisou, a cease-and-desist letter after a lawyer advised her that she had a “very valid claim of infringement” against the trademark Meyer filed for Bisous Bisous Patisserie.
In response to the cease-and-desist letter, Meyer says that she received a response from Bisou’s owners that indicated they had “no intention of making changes.” “We’re now moving forward with litigation and we’ve been told it will be a minimum of 6 figures to go down this road and that in most cases, the legal fees aren’t reimbursed as part of the settlements,” Meyer wrote. “We hoped it wouldn’t come to that. We’d hoped we could wait it out, that the confusion wouldn’t be too severe and that honestly, they might not even be in business in 6 months.”
According to Meyer, Bisous Bisous Patisserie’s Yelp and Google Reviews accounts have been flooded with one-star reviews intended for Bisou. Many of those negative reviews have since been removed, or nestled under Yelp’s “not recommended” section, but some negative reviews that clearly have nothing to do with the bakery still remain. Meyer says that the allegations, which range from poor service to uncleanliness in Bisou’s space, are causing “very real damage” to her business.
In a response to the Dallas Morning News, Cle Group partner Justin Truesdell said that he did not view the names as similar, and did not comment on whether or not there were plans to change Bisou’s name in the works. In its home city of Houston, the Cle Group has not operated without controversy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar was cited multiple times by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for violating guidelines intended to stem the spread of the virus, and its clubs Spire and Cle were both slapped with liquor license suspensions.
At press time, Meyer’s GoFundMe fundraiser had raised a little more than $7,000 of its $150,000 goal.