Oak Harbor’s Hot Rock Pizza draws fire for name, logo

Owners of The Rock Wood Fire Kitchen is demanding that Hot Rock Pizza in Oak Harbor stop using its name and logo.

Oak Harbor restaurant owner Reid Schwartz stands in front of a gas-fired oven in Hot Rock Pizza. The name and logo he uses resulted in a threatening letter from The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen attorneys.

Owners of The Rock Wood Fire Kitchen is demanding that Hot Rock Pizza in Oak Harbor stop using its name and logo.

The western North American chain, with more than 20 stores from Texas to Alaska, operates The Rock under umbrella company Keep Rockin’ LLC. Twelve of the restaurants are in Washington state, according to their website.

“Keep Rockin’ is concerned that your client’s use of so similar a mark for services identical to Keep Rockin’s restaurant services is likely to result in confusion among consumers,” states a letter sent on behalf of Keep Rockin’ LLC by Seattle law firm Miller Nash Graham & Dunn.

“We therefore demand that you cease and desist your use of the term ‘rock’ and the flame motif virtually identical to our client’s.”

Schwartz said Sunday that he had not spoken yet with Keep Rockin’ representatives, but he was in communication with the Washington Restaurant Association to see if the threat has any teeth.

Schwartz said the initial feedback he’s gotten from the WRA lawyers is positive.

“They’re on crack,” Schwartz said, referring to the chain restaurant. “You can’t patent the word ‘rock.’”

A phone call to the WRA was not returned by press time.

For the past five years, Hot Rock Pizza has been a regular vendor at farmers markets, festivals and private parties as a wood-fired food truck.

Schwartz said he may have gotten on The Rock’s radar because Hot Rock Pizza was ranked 24th by King 5’s Best of Western Washington. In addition, if “rock pizza” is Googled, Schwartz’s listing comes in first, The Rock in second.

While the two establishments share the pizza and wood-fired themes, The Rock Wood Fire Kitchen has a more diverse menu with steak, burgers and “Rocktails,” according to its website.

In addition, Schwartz pointed out that he opted for gas-fired ovens in his brick-and-mortar restaurant for permitting reasons. His food truck remains wood-fired.

According to their attorneys, Rockin’ LLC believes the similarities are too great.

“Such confusion is of no benefit to either party,” the attorneys sated in their letter.

Hot Rock will be granted a “phase out” period only if they issue a written reply by Feb. 3, according to the letter.

Despite the demand, Schwartz said he has no beef with The Rock and has been to eat there twice.

“I like the way they are set up,” Schwartz said. “My pizza’s better though.”

A phone call to Keep Rockin’ lawyers was not returned by press time.


More in Business

New cellular sales store opens in Oak Harbor

Cellular Sales, the largest independent Verizon Wireless retailer by volume, has opened… Continue reading

Whidbey Golf Club board names new officers

Whidbey Golf Club’s board of trustees met Nov. 30 and elected new… Continue reading

Hits lead to drop in WhidbeyHealth Sept. revenue

WhidbeyHealth suffered an unplanned budget hit, making September “not such a good… Continue reading

Oak Harbor Motors holds food drive for Help House

Oak Harbor Motors is aiming to “drive out hunger” in its first-ever… Continue reading

Photo by The Everett Herald / 2016
                                Todd Morrow
Island Transit board names choice for executive director

Island Transit’s board of directors picked as its new executive director an… Continue reading

Whidbey Community Foundation awards grants to nonprofits

On Oct. 10, the Whidbey Community Foundation distributed grants to 13 nonprofits… Continue reading

Cary Anderson Team of Keller Williams donates curriculum

The Cary Anderson Team of Keller Williams is donating Ramsey Solutions’ Foundations… Continue reading

Cascade Insurance merges with Leavitt Group Northwest

Leavitt Group has announced that Cascade Insurance Agency has affiliated and merged… Continue reading

Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times. Lynn Hyde stands inside the Haller House, a historic home that her nonprofit group recently purchased in order to preserve it.
Group inks deal for one of state’s oldest homes

Nonprofit buys historic Haller House

Furry friends attend doggy daycare

‘Some people call me a hippy dog trainer’

Noe Jose Cafe: Where friends and family eat

Mom’s the secret sauce at brothers’ Oak Harbor restaurant

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News Group
                                Island County Sheriff Mark Brown stands in front of the law and justice center.
Sheriff Brown will walk off into sunset

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown’s career in law enforcement will come to… Continue reading