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Old Fashioned renames Taco Tuesday

The Old Fashioned on the Capitol Square has received more than 600 ideas to rename its Taco Tuesday special following a cease and desist letter from a national chain. 

Since 2005, every Tuesday night at The Old Fashioned on the Capitol Square has been Taco Tuesday, where you can get fried tilapia or pulled pork tacos for less than $2 a piece. 

It turns out the name was a bit presumptuous. Recently, The Old Fashioned got a cease and desist letter from Taco John's, a national chain. (There is one Taco John's location in the Madison area, in Monona.) 

According to the notice, any further use of the term "Taco Tuesday" would result in legal action from Taco John's. According to previous news stories, Taco John's trademarked the name in 1989 and has been issuing such letters for years. 

"At first we were kind of — not angry, just perplexed," said Old Fashioned manager Jennifer DeBolt. She and owners Bob Miller and Tami Lax laughed about it and thought it was a joke.

They soon found out "the law firm is completely legit," DeBolt said. "We're not going to win if we try to fight them.

"Then we were like, we've got to make the most of it."

On Saturday, The Old Fashioned put a notice on its Facebook page: rename Taco Tuesday before Feb. 9, and win free tacos for a year.

The response has been huge — DeBolt said some 80,000 people have viewed the page, and 600 suggestions have been made on Facebook, Twitter and in person at the restaurant. 

Among them are suggestions both flippant and serious: 

  • Cease-and-Desist Taco Special
  • Trademark Tyrant Taco Day!
  • Edible Taco Tuesday
  • Tacos on the Square
  • Taco-tastic Tuesday
  • Dy-no-mite Taco-nite
  • Ye Old Fashioned Taco Tyme
  • Corporate-free Taco Night
  • Totally Renamed Tuesday
  • Wistaco Day
  • The Tuesday Special That Shall Not Be Named

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The deadline to submit an idea for the new special is Sunday, Feb. 9. After the owners and DeBolt decide on a winner, there will be a party on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with margarita specials and, of course, the Old Fashioned's famous $1.75 tacos. Those who had the top 10 favorite ideas will get their meals for free. 

Once the new special has a name, The Old Fashioned plans to keep it. 

"Whatever we name it, we're going to copyright it," DeBolt said. "Just as a joke."

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Since 2008, Lindsay Christians has been writing about fine arts and food for The Capital Times. She loves eating at the bar, going to the theater, fine wine and good stories. She lives on the east side with her husband, two cats and too many cookbooks.