Local News

Jun 10, 2013 11:37 PM by Mike Manzoni -- mmanzoni@kristv.com

Joe Cotten's Son In Spat Over Family Name With Nephews

CALALLEN -- More than two years after the iconic Joe Cotten's Barbecue restaurant burned down in Robstown there is a spat between members of the Cotten family over the restaurant's trademarked name.

Michael Cotten and Chris Knaus, both grandson's of the late Joe Cotten, opened up another barbecue restaurant in Calallen last year bearing the iconic name, but their uncle, Cecil Cotten, claims he owns the rights to the names "Joe Cotten's Barbecue," and "Cotten's Barbecue," and issued a cease and desist order to his nephews. He said his attorneys plan to file an injunction against his nephews if the sign is not changed,

Cotten and Knaus said although the legal name of their restaurant is Cotten's Catering Dine-in and Take-out, the sign on the outside reads "Cotten's Barbecue Dining." But Cotten and Knaus said they have no problem changing the sign to reflect the restaurant's legal name.

Cotten said he offered his nephews the rights to use the name, but he said negotiations fell through. The younger Cotten called the contract "...horrible," because it would have given his uncle "...absolute power and control...."

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