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Friday, January 5, 2018

Sugarfire Smokehouse Accuses Honey Pit Smokehouse of Photo Thievery

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 9:29 AM

Sugarfire Smokehouse can definitely boast gorgeous food. But is it good enough to steal? - JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Sugarfire Smokehouse can definitely boast gorgeous food. But is it good enough to steal?

St. Louis barbecue titan Sugarfire Smokehouse is accusing the new competitor in town of stealing photos from its website — right down to the font on top of them.

In a letter sent by Clayton attorney Albert Watkins this morning, Sugarfire LLC demands that Honey Pit Smokehouse take down two photos on its website immediately.

The letter includes attachments strongly suggesting the photos on the two-week-old barbecue restaurant's website were lifted from Sugarfire's site — right down to the font on top of them.

"Truthfully speaking, we do not blame you for wanting to pilfer the images," Watkins writes. "They are inducing salivary production at this very moment. However, it is essential that you make your own food and take your own pictures of it."

Reached this morning, Shane Mihaljevic Sr., a partner in Honey Pit, says the use of the photos was "just an oversight." He was unaware of the letter from Watkins, but says he and his partners actually took down the two images yesterday.

Honey Pit's programmer, he says, must have stumbled on the images while building the site; he insists there was never any intent to rip off Sugarfire.

The photos were taken on Sugarfire's behalf by freelance photographer Katherine Bish. Honey Pit's use included the category name Sugarfire had used on its site, as shown in the attachments from Watkins below:

click to enlarge img_1725.png

click to enlarge img_1727.png

Zack Fagas, a partner in Honey Pit, previously worked at Sugarfire, and Watkins suggests in the letter that Honey Pit is using more than just the  knowledge he gained on the job.

"Much like Eve was generated from the rib of Adam, Honey Pit is spawned from a Sugarfire employee of yesteryear," Watkins writes. "Sugarfire welcomes the competition. May the best rib win. However, we must ensure that the competition is fair."

Watkins alleges in the letter that someone at Honey Pit reached out to Sugarfire's web developer about creating its website. But Mihaljevic says Honey Pit did not hire Sugarfire's web developer.

Mihaljevic says he apologizes for the use, but says, "It's no big deal."

He adds, "Our food is completely different. This was just an oversight."

In the letter, Watkins asks for confirmation that the Kirkwood newcomer has removed the photos in fifteen days. "Assuming confirmation is received, we will consider this matter amicably resolved and offer you a Sugarfire Cheezburger with our compliments," Watkins writes. "That comes with any two sides you want. We recommend the potato salad and the baked beans."

Sounds like Honey Pit may be ready to cash in on that offer.

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