A Brighouse music venue may be forced to shut its doors ... because a top London hotel says it must change its name.
The Ritz hotel in London has written to the Ritz in Brighouse – which now trades as www.liveattheritz – saying it must drop the name by February 28 or it will take legal action.
It has left owner Glenn Smith and bar manager Mandy Townsend deeply upset and at a loss what to do now as they will also have to remove the website too.
Mandy said: “Glenn got en email first followed up by a letter from solicitors for the Ritz Hotel in London saying we can no longer use the word Ritz and they have given us until February 28 to cease trading under that name.
“But we can’t just change the name like that – no-one will know who we are anymore. People travel to us from all over the country. It’s been the Ritz for 80 years and it is so well known under this name.
“It’s not like we’ve ever had anyone turning up here thinking they should be at the Ritz in London. It’s absolutely ridiculous and we are really shocked and upset. We’ve taken legal advice but things don’t look good for us at the moment – we don’t know which direction to turn.
“We are not the first people the Ritz has done this to.”
Glenn added: “We can’t use the word Ritz at all in any shape or form. We have absolutely no intention to live off the reputation of the Ritz in London – the ballroom has been known as the Ritz for so many years now.”
Glenn has run the Ritz for the last two years and it has become a well-known dance and live music venue featuring Tamla, Motown, soul, funk, northern soul, rock, pop, rock n roll and ballroom. It also hosts weekly dance classes, modern jive and ballroom nights.
The Ritz Hotel in London first opened its doors on May 24, 1906, by hotelier César Ritz with the aim of becoming the ultimate destination for guests looking to stay at the most luxurious hotel in the land. No expense was spared on its opulent interiors and lavish furnishings.
Bedroom and suite rates at the Ritz now range from £440 to £4,300 per night for the Prince of Wales suite. Afternoon tea is from £54 per person.
The Ritz has so far failed to provide a comment.