City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

The Grange in Decatur becomes The Marlay

Courtesy of Marlay House

Courtesy of the Marlay House

Last October, the owners of  the Grange Public House in Decatur received a letter from the National Grange, an agricultural advocacy group, challenging their rights to the name “Grange.” If they chose to, they could pay an annual fee for the naming rights.

Instead the owners — siblings Colin, Darren and Jen Comer — decided to rename their popular Irish pub, opening the effort to the public in a “Rename the Grange” contest.

On Saturday evening before a crowd of 350 people, the new name was revealed by Decatur mayor Bill Floyd. A sheet dropped to reveal a new sign reading “The Marlay.” The full name is the Marlay House, which refers to a famous 18th Century Georgian-style mansion on the outskirts of Dublin. Why reference this building?

“Because it was called the Grange before that,” says Colin Comer. “Then this French fellow [David La Touche, governor of the Bank of Ireland] bought it and changed the name of the Grange to the Marley House for his wife. But it’s the same place. That’s what we are — the same place.”

Three different people suggested this name and will share the $500 prize.

In other Decatur news: Decatur Metro is reporting that the vacated Little Azio space is becoming something called Garlic Thai Cuisine & Sushi Bar. Another Thai restaurant?

10 comments Add your comment


January 31st, 2010
4:17 pm

Love this place!


January 31st, 2010
8:12 pm

The challenge to the name by the National Grange was total b.s. I feel like a bully got away with something.


January 31st, 2010
8:26 pm

Unfortunetly, the name Grange is trademarked, nad in order to preent major corporations to use the name on products and service, which they havetried and lost. The National Grange needed to require anyone using the name Grange to comply with trade mark laws. It is unfortunate for small buinesses, but the law is the law.


January 31st, 2010
9:59 pm

A trademark doesn’t give the holder infinite powers. One limitation is that trademark rights only protect the particular type of goods and services that the mark owner is selling under the trademark. Generally, if you are selling goods or services that do not compete with those of the mark owner (a pub versus a fraternal organization for farmers), this is strong evidence that consumers would not be confused and that no infringement exists. As you say, the law is the law, but sometimes it’s very expensive to fight about it.


February 1st, 2010
4:42 pm

I think Pika has it nailed – it would have been more expensive for the Marlay House (nee Grange) to fight for the right to the name, and it was just “easier” to change the name to something with a great historical background and story to it.

For a practical example of such a trademark fight, google Nissan. There was a HUGE court case a few years back between a small computer sales company named Nissan and that Japanese automaker for the right to use the Nissan name. While that particular fight centered around a website, it’s the same/similar concept. Both companies are legally allowed to use the name under the trademark because their brands are VERY different, one company just had to compromise in the way it marketed to online customers (in this case, Nissan automakers had to give up the website in favor of Score one for the small business!) In this particular situation, it was easier for the larger company to change its web address than finish the fight in superior court.

THAT BEING SAID: I can’t wait to come back to Atlanta this summer and try the food at the Grange/Marlay! It sounds like it’s a great atmosphere and a really fun-loving group of people, especially since they involved the customers in changing the name.

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February 3rd, 2010
1:26 pm

Enter your comments here


February 3rd, 2010
1:38 pm

No offense Granger, but Pika and J are on the right track, it was cheaper to change. I would have loved to see Grange attempt to prove a likelihood of consumer confusion or get a consumer survey showing that consumers believed there was any connection with the goods and services of the NATIONAL GRANGE OF THE ORDER OF PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY (the listed owner of the GRANGE trademark in this dispute) and a bar in Atlanta. In fact a 2 minute check of the trademark office records show that at least three other companies, in addition to husbandry patron folks, have registered trademarks for GRANGE covering goods such as shoes, wine, lamps, photographs and bedding. I appreciate the need to protect brand integrity but this was over-reaching in my opinion. Of course, The Marlay got lots and lots of free PR so good for them.

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March 22nd, 2010
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