What a difference a word makes…

September 19th, 2012


Located on Jean Talon near Victoria in the north end of the CDN/ NDG borough, the Fukyu Bar à Sushi will now be known as the Kabuli Bar à Sushi after a Superior Court decision in which Judge Kirkland Casgrain decided the restaurant’s name was, in fact, in bad taste after which he gave the restaurant’s owners 24 hours to take down their sign and change the name of their restaurant.
“We picked the name because it had a Japanese connection,” said Kodi Heng who is one of the restaurant’s owners. “Of course, we knew that it would turn a few heads but it was amusing and we knew it would help the restaurant stand out in a city which is actually full of sushi bars.”
As Fukyu is a Japanese word which happens to describe a particular ‘kata’ as practiced in Japanese martial arts, the restaurant’s name caused more than a bit of amusement among local customers- many of whom would use their smart-phones to post a picture of the restaurant’s frontage on the city’s social media sites. While the owners did not think it would be a problem, Heng said the trouble began back in July when the building’s landlord told them that the sign was beginning to create a “serious prejudice” among other tenants in the building.
“We knew that wasn’t true,” said Heng. “We knew where the trouble was really coming from and that’s why we decided to take our case to court because this was, in fact, a freedom of speech issue.”
According to Heng, the building’s owners (Rosdev) are known to be very religious people who will not tolerate any kind of licentious business or advertising near their properties. 
“We offered them a number of options to try to settle the issue,” said Heng, …but they wouldn’t settle for anything less but getting rid of the name.”
As of last week, Judge Casgrain agreed with the restaurant’s landlord in a decision where he wrote “…the word is clearly inappropriate given its meaning within a Montreal context.”
While the restaurant’s old name, presently considered to be ultra vires, is now covered over with a black plastic sheet, the new Kabuki Bar à Sushi is scheduled to be holding its grand opening party on the 29th of September when Heng said there will be a new sign, new menus and new napkins. As kabuki is the common noun used to depict a highly ornate form of classical Japanese theatre, Heng said the restaurant’s new name will suit the recent situation because, as she told The Suburban, “…it certainly was a drama.”n

What, a, difference, a, word, makes…,

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