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Apparently Joan's on Third in Santa Monica Has Gone Rogue

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It might have been a licensing deal gone wrong.

Joan's on Third, Santa Monica
Joan's on Third, Santa Monica
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

When Eater first covered Joan's On Third's Santa Monica outlet along Ocean Avenue, there didn't seem like there was much in the way of endorsement coming from the West Third original. Just a few days ago, the "official" Joan's on Third twitter account essentially lambasted the Santa Monica copycat, openly saying that the Westside version is "not a licensed Joan's on Third."

It's strange because going to the Santa Monica website reveals a very clear message on the bottom: "Joan's On Third TM is a licensed trademark of Joan's On Third Licensing, LLC. This establishment is independently owned and operated." One thing to note, the Santa Monica location has a capitalized On in the title, though surely if the original Joan's (the one founded by Joan McNamara) had the federal trademark this would seem like an infringement. But maybe McNamara didn't have the trademark to protect against confusion like this.

It seems like this Santa Monica poser has been parading around like a branch of Joan's, but hasn't received any blessing from the original. This HAS to be confusing for consumers, who probably aren't aware of the separate operations. The logos, menus, and names for the Santa Monica and West Third spots are almost exactly the same, which doesn't help the cause.

Eater is still awaiting confirmation of the situation, but it seems that the Santa Monica outlet was originally supposed to be a licensed "franchise" of the daytime concept, which offers a broad marketplace, bakery, and sandwich shop of gourmet items. Somewhere along the way, the deal went sour, and this rogue Joan's on Third is now acting like it's the real deal, or at least a licensed operator. According to Twitter and Facebook, it's most certainly not. Do you have any more information on the deal and how it went down? Hit the comments or tipline.

Joan's on Third (the one on West Third that's been there for years) does operate an officially licensed location in Studio City, which just opened late last year.

Joan's on Third

1755 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (424) 229-9667 Visit Website