Philadelphia Auto Show is sued by owners of Garage bars

Garage North at Frankford and Girard Avenues in Fishtown.

The organizers of the Philadelphia Auto Show, whose 2017 edition begins this weekend at the Convention Center, is facing a lawsuit filed by the operator of the popular bars in South Philadelphia and Fishtown known as Garage.

The issue: A lounge set up during the 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show was called The Garage and included arcade games - just as the two bars do.

This "falsely communicated to consumers that the plaintiffs were operating the bar/restaurant on the Auto Show premises," according to attorney J. Conor Corcoran's complaint, filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Tuesday and first publicly noted by PhillyCourtWatcher on Twitter. 

Defendants include Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia and the unspecified operators of the Auto Show's bar. The lawsuit contends that the "fraudulently operated" bar/restaurant was "grossly inferior" to the Garage locations operated by Jason Evenchik, Josh McCullough, Terrance Leach, and Sal D'Amato.

In the complaint, Corcoran says that a week before the 2016 show, Garage owners had learned about "The Garage" through advertising. Corcoran sent a letter to the association, reading, in part: "Given that your organization has already been advertising and trading upon the good name and reputation of my client's bar, I could have sued already, but I trust that this cease and desist request will be the end of the matter." 

The suit seeks all profits derived from the show’s use of the name and damages in excess of $500,000.  

Kevin Mazzucola, executive director of the dealers association, declined to address the suit, which he said he had not yet seen.

This year's lounge is called The Pitstop. "The bottom line is we changed it to better reflect what that area is," Mazzucola said.