Owners of the bar formerly known as Smith: Jason Normann, Tom MacDonald, and Jeremy Quinn
Jason Normann, Tom MacDonald, and Jeremy Quinn, of the soon-to-open Logan Square spot formerly known as Smith

Smith may be the most common surname in America, but a certain bar in New York is determined to keep it the least common bar name.

Shortly after my post went up about plans for a new Logan Square wine bar and restaurant brought to us by the owners of The Bluebird and Webster’s Wine Bar, that team was contacted by another team—of lawyers.

Melissa Normann, who handles PR for Webster’s and The Bluebird, wrote the following in an e-mail to me this afternoon:

“This really took us by surprise . . . who would think you could trademark a word like ‘Smith’? The owners of The Smith [in New York] assured us that they would sue, as they’re planning on expanding to the Midwest—and the fact that one of their fathers is a famous lawyer wasn’t exactly encouraging. The partners are coming up with a new name this week, in the midst of city inspections—no easy task! But the space and menus look amazing, and we’re getting really excited to open in the next couple of weeks.”

To tell you the truth, I’m relieved. Following the hotelier Ian Schrager’s announcement last week that, after changing the name of the Ambassador East hotel to, of all things, Public Chicago, he’s considering renaming the venerable Pump Room—wait for it—Gold Coast Kitchen (claiming indifference, he’s invited the people of Chicago to vote; readers, let’s discuss in the comments section below), I’d say it’s about time we all get a little more creative in the naming department.

Here’s hoping that name number 2 will set the promising spot formerly known as Smith apart and give Logan Square a place that feels exactly like Logan Square, not Everyman’s watering hole, anywhere in America—and especially not in New York.