Steakhouse provides entertainment in Yorktown

Customers eat lunch at 5D Steakhouse and Lounge. The restaurant opened in February 2016 and specializes in hand-cut steaks. The walls and ceiling are made of pine wood.

An out-of-towner sat down quietly at 5D Steakhouse and Lounge in Yorktown, but he wasn't there to enjoy a flame-grilled ribeye.

Instead, he jotted down some of the songs he heard playing: "Take It On The Run" by REO Speedwagon, "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO and "I'm The Only One" by Melissa Etheridge.

His visit is now the basis of a copyright infringement lawsuit pending against the small business in federal court.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers announced Wednesday that 5D Steakhouse and Lounge, located at 632 West Main St., was among 11 businesses across the country it had sued on behalf of its members to recoup royalties.

Just as they had no idea about the out-of-towner, the co-owners were caught off guard by the lawsuit.

"I didn't know we were being sued," said Patricia Dlugosch, who declined to comment further.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers offers licenses to bars, restaurants, retail as well as radio, TV and cable stations to play the more than 11.5 million songs in its repertoire.

Its vice president for business and legal affairs, Jackson Wagener, says that over a two-year period, 5D Steakhouse and Lounge ignored this offer, so the group took the extraordinary step of hiring a private investigator to visit the venue, listen and report back for the purposes of bringing a lawsuit.

"And I can guarantee you that they played more of our songs than just the three that were listed," he said.

Wagener said if 5D Steakhouse and Lounge had gotten a license, it would have cost them about $5,000 a year.

"And that's about 12 bucks a day or a couple of drinks or one cover charge. We think that's extremely fair," he said, adding the cost varies depending on a business' occupancy and how often it plays music.

But now, if the group wins its lawsuit, 5D Steakhouse and Lounge could pay between $2,250 and $90,000 for playing just those three copyrighted songs Aug. 17.

5D Steakhouse and Lounge opened in February 2016.

It is owned by Yorktown natives Pete and Patricia Dlugosch. They also own three other restaurants, one each in Kenedy, Carrizo Springs and Monahans, as well as D&B Oilfield Services, a convenience store and a cattle business.

In 2012, the couple turned the management of their businesses over to their children.

On Valentine's Day, their daughter, Brianne Dlugosch, was working at 5D Steakhouse.

John Wayne Schulz, who auditioned for American Idol in 2011, was set to perform for diners there. They could order off a special menu consisting of smoked pork tenderloin topped with raspberry chipotle sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and a sweet Hawaiian dinner roll for $29.99, according to the business' Facebook page.

Wagener said if 5D Steakhouse and Lounge were to buy a license now, it would still need to account for the prior periods it played copyrighted music without a license.

"Our goal is to reach an amicable settlement, not put them out of business," he said.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
0

Environment/Investigations Reporter

Jessica Priest has done a little bit of everything since moving to Victoria in 2012. She was a regular fixture in the Crossroads’ historic courthouses, but now slathers on the sunscreen to report on the environment.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Transparency. Your full name is required.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. And receive photos, videos of what you see.
Don’t be a troll. Don’t be a troll. Don’t post inflammatory or off-topic messages, or personal attacks.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.

To subscribe, click here. Already a subscriber? Click here.