The dancers at Lucky Devil Lounge are still delivering chicken strips and burgers in pasties and short-shorts, but they can no longer do it using the name "Boober Eats."
Uber Eats slapped the business on the east side of the Ross Island Bridge with a cease-and-desist order last week. Owner Shon Boulden says he'd like to keep the clever name, but it's just not worth the legal battle.
"We're doing this for our employees, and we're doing it for minimum wage," he tells WW. "We're not making a whole lot of money. I'm pretty sure Uber is a billion-dollar corporation, and we're Lucky Devil Lounge. As much as I would love to fight this, I need to roll up my sleeves and take my slap on the wrist."
The strippers at his club began bringing meals to area homes in mid-March after Gov. Kate Brown's order addressing the pandemic by closing restaurants and bars across the state forced Lucky Devil to temporarily shut down. The pop-up business has allowed the dancers to keep working and accepting tips from customers—who can take photos from a safe distance—as well as the bouncers who drive and provide security at each stop.
Since WW first reported about the new service, Boober Eats has gone on to receive coverage in Rolling Stone, HuffPost and the New York Post.
Boulden says the cease-and-desist notice stated that use of Boober Eats was a trademark infringement since the name rhymed with Uber's delivery service and used the same font.
As a business owner who trademarked "Stripparoake"—where women disrobe while singing at his Foster-Powell venue, Devils Point—Boulden understands the company's position, though he somewhat regrets the $1,800 he spent on T-shirts bearing the original brand. He plans to have a local screen printer cover up any references to Boober Eats and push forward with plans to sell the merch.
So far, though, dropping the name hasn't dampened demand. He says they're busier than ever, and media requests continue to pour in—this week alone, Boulden has plans to talk to MTV, and a German TV show will be onsite for documentary-style coverage.
"It started as a joke—a play on their name—and it just went viral and became this sensation," he says. "We went straight to the top, but ultimately it comes down to providing for our employees."
Boulden has scrubbed Boober Eats from all of its social media platforms and website and swapped in "Lucky Devil Eats"—at least for now.
"We're working on retaining a similar name," he explains. "My friends are chiming in now online. A buddy has said, 'Steak and Legs,' 'Peels on Wheels,' 'Pole Mates,' 'Porn Grub.' There's every single euphemism out there for boobs and butts."