Chez Sonia, famous French wine bar and restaurant in Westlands, risks closure


The directors of Chez Sonia--Ernesto Estrada Gonzalez, Sonia Mansioui and their friend Esther Muthoni have ...
The directors of Chez Sonia--Ernesto Estrada Gonzalez (left), Sonia Mansioui (right) and their friend Esther Muthoni have been accused of illegally duplicating an existing business name. PHOTOS | COURTESY

In Summary

  • Mr. Ernesto Estrada Gonzalez (a Mexican chef who doubles up as United Nations World Food Program staff in Kenya); his partner Sonia Mansioui (from France) and their Kenyan friend Esther Muthoni have been accused of illegally duplicating an existing business name and operations to benefit financially from an existing business reputation and goodwill.

Chez Sonia, a famous French wine bar and restaurant in Nairobi is on the verge of closure if the court rules against its Couple Directors Action of alleged infringement into business and patent law.

The lucrative restaurant located on on Peponi road in Westlands is barely two years old.

Since it began its operations, the former business partners have locked horns in a bitter legal battle over trademark ownership.

Salome Kiende Ibeere, Director of Chez Sonia Limited, has sued the directors of Chez Sonia Restaurant for allegedly reproducing and operating using her business trademark.

Mr. Ernesto Estrada Gonzalez (a Mexican chef who doubles up as a staffer at the UN’s World Food Program in Kenya); his partner Sonia Mansioui (French citizen) and their Kenyan friend Esther Muthoni have been accused of illegally duplicating an existing business name and operations to benefit financially from an existing business reputation and goodwill.

In a petition before a commercial court in Nairobi, Ms. Ibeere avers that on or about January 2019, Chez Sonia Limited was incorporated to carry out operations as a wine club and she registered it as the sole director.

The complainant says that after registration, with common objective of steering the business towards success, she enjoined Sonia Mansioui to be her business partner until they disagreed and parted ways.

“After disintegrating as partners, Mansioui colluded with Enesto who registered a business name of Chez Sonia, eliminating word ‘Limited’ and operating at the same Spot offering same services as Chez Sonia Limited with the only difference of and Inscribed Name on the Original business name,” court documents read.

The complainant has asked the court to issue injunction to stop Chez Sonia from operating on the basis of infringing into business rights of Chez Sonia Limited.

She further wants the court to direct the defendants to financially remedy from the business sabotage.

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Story By Agnes Oloo
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