Mory’s Temple Bar may be closed indefinitely as of last December, but one local bar is taking up the mantle of the legendary “Mory’s cups.”
As of last Thursday, Black Bear Saloon on Temple Street has six large, silver cups that look and feel like those once used at Mory’s — but are not actually Mory’s cups themselves. Christopher Getman ’64, the president of Mory’s Board of Governors, said that while flattered, he was not aware of Black Bear’s imitation of the club’s tradition.
As Mory’s prepares to reopen in spring 2010, Black Bear hopes to attract more Yale students by offering cups, employees said.
“Mory’s is closed,” Black Bear’s assistant general manager, Dan Bernstein, said. “Yale is right there. It’s an open market, and we’re carrying on with the tradition.”
Bernstein said the idea revolves around Yale students, the saloon’s target audience. He said he thinks it is more fun for students to drink from silver goblets than from regular containers.
Still, the image of drinking from a trophy cup is a tradition most Yalies associate with Mory’s, and the cups at Black Bear, Bernstein emphasized, are not trying to be Mory’s cups.
“This isn’t Mory’s,” he said.
Getman said he is not worried about Black Bear imitating the Mory’s cup tradition and said he believes when Mory’s reopens in spring 2010, the public will prefer the original.
“It means that we are doing something people like and want to imitate,” Getman said. “But once we reopen, it’s not going to make a hoot of a difference.”
Bernstein said he does not know how Black Bear’s promotion will be affected if Mory’s reopens.
The saloon sent e-mails promoting “The New Generation of ‘The Cup.’ ” While Black Bear’s cups bear a passing resemblance to Mory’s, they lack the wear of age and the traditional engravings, and they are noticeably smaller than the originals. Nevertheless, for $28 at Black Bear, a minimum of four people can choose from one of five alcoholic recipes to relive the tradition. (Mory’s cups started at $24 each.) Each table at Black Bear is limited to three cups per night.
Black Bear’s events manager, Christine Amatrudo, said the saloon made sure it was not infringing on any patent or trademark rights associated with Mory’s cups. Once it was clear none existed, she said, Black Bear decided to pick up where Mory’s had left off.
Steven Blumenfeld ’11, a member of Mory’s Board of Governors, said that since Mory’s is a registered trademark, legal action could be taken against any establishment claiming to host a Mory’s event. But he said he is ultimately not worried about Black Bear’s attempt to revive the tradition.
“I think other restaurants are looking for an opportunity while we are temporarily closed,” he said. “But they’re not Mory’s.”
Black Bear purchased its cups for about $100 each, Bernstein said.
Correction: Oct. 28, 2009
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the prices of Mory’s cups. The cups started at $24; the did not all cost $30.