Worldwide Taqueria threatens Taqueria Sonora with legal action over use of the word ‘taqueria’

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Worldwide Taqueria threatens Taqueria Sonora with legal action over use of the word ‘taqueria’

Related tags Taqueria Sonora Legal Worldwide Taqueria Mexican cuisine

The operator of two-strong London restaurant group Taqueria has threatened Taqueria Sonora with legal action over its use of the word ‘taqueria’.

As reported by Eater London,​ Taqueria Sonora owners Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier have been served with a cease and desist over the use of the word in its name and identity.

Worldwide Taqueria, the business name of Taqueria, which operates sites in Notting Hill and Exmouth Market, alleges that Sonora’s use of the term constitutes a trademark infringement. 

According to Eater London, earlier this month lawyers on behalf of Taqueria served Sonora’s owners with a 20-page letter.

The letter, seen by the publication, outlined the technicalities of the alleged infringement of Taqueria’s trade mark, in addition to all instances of the alleged infringement. 

“It is just so stupid,” Salazar told Eater London. “And the response from Mexicans has been like, outrage. Because it’s ridiculous. There’s no way to express ... and I guess it also brings to mind the fact that everybody thinks that there’s no good Mexican Mexican food in the UK. But if you can’t even call your taco place a taqueria, where do you even start? It’s another barrier.”

“Basically, the general feeling we’re getting has been that it’s worth fighting it,” Napier added. 

In response to a request for comment from Eater London on the letter issued to Sonora, Ismael Munoz, Taqueria’s operations manager said: “As with all UK trademark registrations, the provisions of the Trademarks Act grant the proprietor the exclusive right to the trade mark, and those rights are infringed when the trade mark is used in the UK by another undertaking without the proprietor’s consent.

“As such, Sonora Taqueria Ltd’s use of TAQUERIA without Worldwide Taqueria Ltd’s consent constitutes trademark infringement.”

Launched as a stall within Hackney’s Netil Market just shy of three years ago, Taqueria Sonora setup shop at JKS Restaurants’ Arcade Food Hall in central London earlier this week and is highly-regarded for its Mexican cuisine. 

Officially taking up residence in Arcade from tomorrow 16 September,​ Mexa by Taqueria Sonora will be ‘rooted in the pride and heritage’ of Mexican cuisine and feature a menu of quesadillas, tacos and mariscos (seafood).

“In Mexico a restaurant wouldn’t really serve seafood and tacos together, so Mexa has a core division: between a taqueria and a seafood place,” explains Napier. 

The seafood element of the menu will be made up of two dishes - ceviche de lobina (of seabass), which sees tostadas topped with a mayonnaise, cold lime-cured sea bass ceviche, avocado and salsa negra; and agua chile (cured prawn) plated with cucumber, red onion slices, salsa negra, cracked chillies, and served with corn tortilla chips.

Mexa will also serve a range of corn tortilla tacos including carnitas with confit pork, pickled onion and salsa verde; birria quesadillas of spicy stewed lamb served with a pot of consomé; and gobernador, a taco famously created for a Sinaloan governor made with sautéed prawns, melted cheese and salsa roja.

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