MUSIC MECCA THE CORNER HOTEL SUES JAZZ CORNER HOTEL

In In the Courts by Clyde Mooney

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Richmond music mecca The Corner is back in court over use of the ‘C’-word, accusing developer-cum-musician Albert ‘Albare’ Dadon of impropriety at the Jazz Corner Hotel.

The Corner Hotel is an iconic live music venue in eastern Melbourne, operated since 1995 by Swancom P/L, which also runs the famous Northcote Social Club.

The Corner hosts an ongoing line-up of acts in many musical styles on any night of the week, while serving pub meals and cold drinks in its rooftop beer garden.

Head of Ubertas property development group and jazz player, Dadon turned his passion into tribute business the Jazz Corner Hotel, boasting digs plastered in posters of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald where “finger-snapping, horn-blowing hepcats” can stay.

The adjacent Jazz Cover Café serves house-blend coffee roasted by hipsters, and at the rear is laneway bar Bird’s Basement, offering homage to the late, great legendary sax player Charlie Parker’s New York band room Birdland.

Swancom holds trademark on title The Corner, which pertains to: Provision of food and drink; cocktail lounge, bar, cafe, snack bar and restaurant services; catering services; hospitality services.

The group’s Mat Everett and Tim Northeast have previously been protective of their brand to the point of litigation, last year taking on McDonalds for its Sydney pilot store named The Corner, serving modern healthier options. It is understood a court date is still pending.

Grievance in that instance was based on the similarity of the logo, compounded by the venue’s dislike of sharing a moniker with the multinational.

There are in fact several other iterations of the Corner Hotel around the country, including Browns Corner Hotel as close as Coburg, just 40 minutes’ north of Richmond.

But the Jazz Corner – as well as being just five kilometres west, in the Melbourne CBD – obviously encroaches on Swancom’s association with live music.

Having launched legal proceedings, the two sides met late last week in Melbourne’s Federal Court, with Swancom seeking to stop Dadon using the word Corner, as well as damages or compensation from revenues reaped by the Jazz Corner businesses.

Justice Michael O’Bryan ordered mediation between the parties by 14 June, hoping to resolve the matter before it reaches trial.