Though months away from completion, it appears as though Hollywood’s upcoming Limelight club, part of the Dream Hotel build-out, is still getting into some early hot water.
According to a report from LAist, it seems one Peter Gatien isn’t happy with the upcoming Hollywood club’s plans to use the Limelight name, since he himself operated a popular spot in New York City under the same title decades ago. So he's decided to take his battle over naming rights to court against the Tao Group (Tao, Beauty & Essex) who will run said nightclub as a space attached to their larger multi-story Hollywood hotel plans, and that's where things get murky.
See, for a long time, Gatien actually owned the copyright to the name Limelight as a club, which would have meant that new Dream Hotel (and possible Los Angeles Limelight, which sounds kind of like an Arena Football League team name) owners Tao Group wouldn’t have been able to use the moniker. Except, well, Gatien let the trademark renewal lapse back in 2011, so the name has been wide open for use ever since.
Nonetheless, LAist says, Gatien is furious about the possible hijacking of his lounge name, considering the original Limelight was such an icon of the 1980’s and 90’s drug-fueled club scene in New York City. The place closed in 1996 after being shut down by the cops, and Gatien was actually deported to Canada not long after apparently, but still.
So now things are tied up in some level of litigation, with Gatien’s lawyers saying their client never intended to let the name lapse and that he’s always had plans to use the title down the line. They also claim that the Tao Group is trying to capitalize on the popularity of the name from all those decades ago for their own gain once the place is up and running, so we’ll see how it all plays out.
As for the place actually opening, alongside sister concepts Beauty & Essex and the eponymously-named Tao restaurant and lounge? It’s still going to be a while apparently, though ABC license paperwork is now up on the front of the building.