Bar wars

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Same name barney is brewing between rival, er, ale houses

A Frankton pub that’s called itself an ‘ale house’ has found no cheer with a Queenstown business using the same name.

Speight’s Ale House publican Clark Frew admits being “a bit surprised” when Famous Kelly’s changed its name to Frankton Ale House during a recent $600,000 refurbishment.

He says he “had some words” with the Frankton manager and insists “confusion between the two [names] could very well be an issue”.

“People shorten us to ‘Ale House’ and that’s what they’ll call the Frankton Ale House as well.”

The confusion’s also not helped by the Frankton watering hole adopting a similar logo, Frew claims.

“I’ve got to take it as a compliment if someone wants to copy our name, but I just want people to be aware it’s not a Speight’s Ale House – only DB products are available there.”

Frankton Ale House owner Steve Laing says the new name and concept were suggested by both a Lion Nathan rep and an ex-DB employee but it isn’t a copy.

“The name Ale House is used right throughout the country and hasn’t got a registered trademark.”

He can’t understand why there would be any mix-up between the two pubs : “One’s at Frankton, the other’s at Queenstown, that’s the distinction, and if people think Frankton’s in Queenstown they need to buy a road map.”
Laing also denies any attempt to copy the other Ale House’s logo.

“[Frew’s] probably concerned that because of his location compared to ours, smack-bang on a roundabout, that we’re going to take business off him.

“The bottom line is, if you can’t compete in a competitive marketplace, you should go and find something else to do.”