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The Rusty Krab, a new restaurant in downtown Houston with a $24 admission fee, has got ViacomCBS lawyers crabby. They say the venue bears an unacceptable similarity to The Krusty Krab, the fast-food eaterie featured in Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants.

The Texan restaurant infringes on trademarks by using names, images, characters, and re-creations from the show across its dining area and menu, according to legal documents seen by TMZ. It sells alcoholic cocktails with names that apparently reference Spongebob Squarepants, such as Bikini Bottom Blast and Pineapple under the Sea, which ViacomCBS says would violate its licensing policy for the kids’ show.

The Spongebob theme is flaunted by the restaurant, whose website asks, “Are you a True Spongebob Fan?” Photos on its social media show diners posing with a character performer in a Spongebob costume.

A disclaimer on the homepage states: “We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with NICKELODEON, or the SPONGEBOB BRAND DIRECTLY, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates. This is Kefi HTX’s artistic adaptation recreation of an amazing series that added value to our childhood! Enjoy the story telling from OUR eyes in the most FUN WAY!”

“Artistic adaptation” or trademark infringement? The Rusty Krab now has to confront the age-old debate — and not in the most fun way.

Below are some photos of the restaurant:

Rusty Krab Rusty Krab Rusty Krab Rusty Krab
Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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