Al Mancini and Beni Velazquez as seen in a rendering from Krave Massive [Photo: Inset courtesy of Al Mancini; rendering courtesy of Krave Massive]
Mohawked food critic Al Mancini now has a beef with Krave Massive, the proposed world's largest gay nightclub going in at Neonopolis.
In particular, he's taking action against the nightclub, saying it "appropriated his Vegas-iconic mohawked image for its promotional materials." A rendering of Krave Massive's country and Western bar The Saloon contains cutout images of people, including Mancini and chef Beni Velazquez of Bar + Bistro at a launch party for Mancini's book Eating Las Vegas: The 50 Essential Restaurants. Ironically, Mancini's mohawk was cut out in the rendering.
"The owners of Krave Massive never sought permission to use Mr. Mancini's image," says Mancini's attorney Marc J. Randazza. "They violated Mr. Mancini's right of publicity in his image and his copyright in the photo."
In a press statement, Randazza says he "demanded that Phantom Entertainment, Harmon Point Inc. and Blackhawk Corporate Services discontinue use of the image, pay appropriate damages and sign an agreement that will govern the use of his likeness for any future commercial purposes. Should they fail to meet these demands, Mr. Mancini intends to pursue a legal remedy."
"What kind of supposedly reputable company would just appropriate my picture like that to imply that I endorse their club? I make my living commenting on the local food and beverage industry. I'm very careful about what I endorse, and I would never endorse a place that I know absolutely nothing about. If Krave wanted me to support their new venture, they should have contacted me to ask for my support, like countless other business owners do every year. It's really upsetting to me that this club would choose to operate unethically and illegally in violation of my rights."