There was a time in bar and restaurant culture when papering the walls of the bathrooms with various pop culture and soft core porn imagery was totally original. But now, with the evolution of the dingy hipster into the bourgeois hipster, the trend has taken on a life of its own.
Perhaps this is what incited Shangshi Ioshi, the interior designer of Okinawa, famed purveyor of soybean-infused beer, to paper every inch of the walls of the restaurant’s bathrooms with this popular style. But certain businesses aren’t buying that it was a “subconscious” move–chiefly Pine Box and Skinny Dennis. It was, surprisingly, the owners at Skinny Dennis who were the first to step up to the lawsuit plate. “We think the plagiarism of our style is pretty evident, and we want the Okinawa interior design team to either pay us damages or remove the contents of the bathrooms,” said Reese Picayune, co-owner at Skinny D.
Mindy Morbid and Jesse Jejeune, the co-owners at Pine Box and Satin Coffin, later joined in on what is fast becoming something akin to a class action suit. “We agree with Skinny Dennis on this blatant form of stealing. It’s time to put a ban on this style in other bars and restaurants. It was Pine Box who pioneered this trend and we really only let Skinny Dennis do it in their bathroom because they’re in Williamsburg and don’t pose a threat.” Mominette and Dear Bushwick, too, plan to join in on the lawsuit, as their walls also have newspaper plastering splashed about. With so much local business contempt at the outset of Okinawa’s entrance into Bushwick, will they manage to meet overhead costs and legal fees?
Written by Genna Rivieccio