Tag Archives: Dominic Stiller

Two LIC bars battle over naming rights

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

One Long Island City neighborhood’s name is at the center of a battle brewing between two local bars.

The owner of Dutch Kills, a bar and restaurant located at 27-24 Jackson Ave. since 2009, filed a suit in Brooklyn Federal Court last week against the owners of Dutch Kills Centraal, a new establishment that opened up shop in September at 38-40 29th St.

According to court documents, the suit is over the name of the bar, which Dutch Kills owner Richard Boccato says has caused confusion among customers who essentially believe the two establishments are either the same or affiliated with one another.

“My clients want to protect the name they worked so hard to build,” said David DeStefano, Boccato’s attorney. “The issue is that there is confusion in the marketplace where people don’t know which bar is which.”

The suit is looking to have Dutch Kills Centraal discontinue the use of the trademarked “Dutch Kills” in its name, which the suit claims Boccato developed common law rights after five years, because he said it has caused “irreparable harm” to the business. He also wants to recover monetary damages for “trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive acts and practices, and unjust enrichment” from the use of the name.

DeStefano said his client sent a cease and desist letter in October asking Dutch Kills Centraal to cease using the name, but the letter was ignored. Future letters and calls were also ignored, said De Stefano.

However, Dominic Stiller, owner of Dutch Kills Centraal and president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, says the letters were just bullying him into changing the name with no reason or further discussion.

The Long Island City resident has put in a trademark application for the whole “Dutch Kills Centraal” name not solely the “Dutch Kills” portion, which is what Boccato is looking to do, Stiller said.

Stiller also said the community is asking the MTA to change the 39th Avenue subway station to 39th Avenue – Dutch Kills.

He said when he gave his bar a name he did not give it a second thought because it represented a “wonderful 400-year-old neighborhood” he lives and works in, and where his daughter attends school.

“I created Dutch Kills Centraal to be a gathering place for the community,” Stiller said. “Often after the Dutch Kills Civic Association meeting there was nowhere to go to have a drink and some food, this pub needed renovation, we did it, and now we have a great place that Dutch Kills is proud of.”



Star of Queens: Dominic Stiller, president, Dutch Kills Civic Association

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


COMMUNITY SERVICE: Dominic Stiller became president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, which was started in 1979 to promote awareness of the Long Island City area, in January. “The organization’s goals are to improve local quality of life for residents, commuters, workers and all visitors to our area.”

BACKGROUND: Stiller was born in Canada and made the move to Queens when he was two years old. Along with being president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, he is also the owner and manager of DSENY Engineering Services, a safety and structural engineering firm of 12 employees, also located in Dutch Kills in Long Island City.

“As well as renovating our limestone townhouse in Dutch Kills, I have also recently completed the design and construction of a full mechanical and structural interior and exterior restoration of the Dutch Kills Centraal, an existing bar/restaurant located in the heart of Dutch Kills, at the corner of 29th Street and 39th Avenue.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: Although not one particular memory stands out, Stiller said he has an overall love for his Dutch Kills community.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “My biggest challenge is convincing small scale Queens owners and developers to think broadly, think outside their own property lines, and realize that long-term decisions yield very different conclusions than short-term decisions. In addition, it has been a challenge to convince local businesses that the business community and the residential community have more things in common than in opposition, we all spend a significant portion of our lives in this neighborhood, and it’s in everybody’s best interest to improve the local quality of life.”

INSPIRATION: “This is a neighborhood of rapid change. My wife Jean and I realized that if we do not get involved in the direction that the neighborhood goes in, then we will have no reason to complain if it goes places we don’t want it to. She is a real star of queens, tending tree pits, planting flowers, and cleaning up litter up and down the avenue.

She is also working with the staff of our wonderfully supportive and involved local elected officials, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and State Senator Michael Gianaris. The goal is to have the Department of Transportation install many traffic calming devices to slow down the vehicular traffic which races through our neighborhood, causing frequent accidents, and some recent fatalities. She has started an on-line petition at dutchkillslic.com which, once complete, will be presented to DOT with a request for curb extensions, more stop signs and lights, remarking of cross walks on many avenues and speed bumps.”