Dining With Denise Neil

Celeb chef Colicchio won’t share Wichcraft name with Wichita beer festival

Tom Colicchio wrote. He wants his restaurant name back.
Tom Colicchio wrote. He wants his restaurant name back. Associated Press

The WichCraft beer festival is still on for May 16 at the Monarch, 579 W. Douglas. But there’s one change.

It can’t be called WichCraft.

Earlier this week, the festival’s organizers received an official letter from the offices of Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP, who represent the gourmet sandwich restaurant chain Wichcraft, owned by Bravo’s “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio and operating in New York City and San Francisco. The letter notified the beer festival’s organizers that the name Wichcraft was already taken and that using it would be “expressly prohibited under various federal, state and common laws.” The letter demanded that the beer festival abandon the name.

The new name the group has settled on should be free and clear: Wichita Craft Beer & Food Fest.

This is the second hurdle the organizers have faced while putting the event together. The guild, whose members include all local brewers, several bar owners, liquor store folks and some distributors, originally planned to put on a huge event on the Hyatt lawn. But they didn’t apply for their nonprofit status in time, so they moved the event to the Monarch, 579 W. Douglas.

It’ll be from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 16 and will include around 200 beers from more than a dozen local and regional craft breweries. The event also will include a food truck rally in the parking lot behind the bar with The Flying Stove, Hopperoni Express, BS Sandwich Press, Let'm Eat Brats, Funky Monkey Munchies, Brickhouse BBQ and The Brown Box Bakery. Tickets are $30 and are available at www.eventbrite.com.