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Hugo Caliente Scraps Name, Settles Suit with James Beard Nominated Chef

A big change spurs a new name.

Don't call Chris Smitty's casual Tex-Mex restaurant Hugo Caliente anymore.
Don't call Chris Smitty's casual Tex-Mex restaurant Hugo Caliente anymore.
The Epicurean Publicist

Hugo Ortega and wife Tracy Vaught have settled their suit against Hugo Caliente owner Chris Smith, bringing an end to the battle of the Hugos.

Last month, the husband and wife owners of Hugo's, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Montrose, filed a lawsuit against Smith for trademark infringement. At the time, Ortega and Vaught believed Smith's restaurant  whose name was similar to theirs and served Mexican fusion food— confused patrons, despite the Town and Country eatery being a fast-casual Tex-Mex concept with an entirely different menu.

As of yesterday, however, that's no longer the case. Hugo Caliente hinted that the matter was resolved when updating its Facebook page with the following message:


Local news station KTRK reports that not only is the H silent, the entire Hugo name has been removed from the restaurant's facade and website. Now going by Caliente, Smith is in the process of removing all online traces of the name. With the issue resolved, Ortega and Vaught can turn their focus towards more pressing matters like their recent James Beard recognition.

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