City Desk

Short-Lived Cool Disco Donuts Not Popular With Cool “Disco” Documentarians

Upcoming Dupont Circle doughnut shop Cool Disco Donut earned enough ire over its name, a play on '80s graffiti artist Cool "Disco" Dan, that it pulled a hasty name change today. But two people think owner Aaron Gordon didn't change the shop's name for the right reasons: documentarians Roger Gastman and Joseph Pattisall.

Gastman and Pattisall are the producer and director, respectively, of The Legend of Cool "Disco" Dan, a new film about the tagger extraordinaire. They say they found out about the doughnut shop's name a few weeks ago and were surprised that its launch was coming so close to the opening of the film that's taken them 10 years to make and premieres next month.

"This is not Marvin on U Street," says Pattisall, referencing a restaurant that's had its own issues with swagger-jacking. "This isn't 100 years from now, this is a day-to-day person who has trouble in his life."

While Cool "Disco" Dan—real name Dan Hogg—has no fixed address, which makes contacting him difficult, Pattisall thinks he would be "furious."

They're glad that Gordon decided to change the donut shop's name to Zeke's D.C. Donuts, but suspect that he made the decision just because he was afraid of what the name would cost the business in customer goodwill. Pattisall points to Facebook posts where users wondered how many donuts Cool Disco Donuts would have to sell to be able to afford constantly repairing its windows—with the implication that Dan partisans would be exacting their own form of street justice if the name remained.

"We did not post those messages," Gastman adds.

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  • Peter J. Orvetti

    So a business is changing its name out of respect to a guy who vandalized property?

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    Gangsta Chronicles & FFC ain't dead yet

  • RT

    These "documentarians" sound like real bully losers. Since when do documentarians, who are supposed to quietly stand back and take an unbiased stance, actively protect their "subjects". I think it's due to their own greed, frankly. Not out of any do-gooding their claim, or false outrage.

  • J Don


  • asad ULTRA walker

    did you even read the article? they only mentioned that the shop is being named after an actual breathing person who probably would not be happy about it. i know dan even better than they do and i concur 100%. if you would like to help dan, join the society for the preservation of cool "disco" dan at

  • Ty

    I thought graffiti artists were above all that property rights BS. Why would he care about a donut shop, of all things, borrowing part of his made-up name? If these documentarians think he would be "furious," then they apparently don't have a firm grasp on the subject they've been covering for 10 years. More likely they're just some self-righteous tools.

  • 181

    Whoever RT and J.Don are have surely missed the point if they are supporting the idea that someone's legacy is free for someone else to make a buck off of.

  • DCHC

    Peter Orvetti: Your reading comprehension is abysmal. Google Cool "Disco" Dan and understand this man's history and how he earned his name. This 'donut' shop was trying to capitalize off of it and didn't think to contact him. Wouldn't you be a little upset is someone opened a Pete Orvetti's Pizzeria with your face on it and not ask you? That's almost exactly what happened in this case.

  • Steven Faith

    RT, did you READ the article in its entirety? Gastman states in the very last sentence "we did not post those messages". Greed? Do you honestly think these documentarians plan to become rich off of a documentary dedicated to a man virtually unknown among most Washingtonians, let alone those outside of Washington? They made the film because they wanted to.

    Sometimes people sink money into a project just to see it come to fruition. You state you "think" it's due to their greed, meaning you don't know them or their intentions. Post something when you have facts to back it up.

    Peter, yes they are changing their name "out of respect to a guy that vandalized property". You appear to imply it would have been ok to profit off of a guy that vandalized property. I guess you have no beef with that.

    Why use Dan's moniker at all? Zeke's or District Donuts would have sufficed. However, Gordon CHOSE to co-op the name of a underground icon and he angered a lot of people for that.

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  • Peter J. Orvetti

    Well, no, it wasn't named after him in full -- it was his nickname. Not only would I not object to a Pete's pizzeria -- I go to one regularly.

    Though yes, I can understand someone being miffed about having her/his name appropriated. I simply do not understand why we laud "artists" who use private property as their canvas.

    How 'bout "Borf's Muffin Emporium"?

  • kid-existance

    whats the argument,the business was willing to make money off of the fame that that"vandal" created,now the business has learned that there is a man with a face behind that cool name and they have respectfully chosen another name. tasteful commercialism is ok but lets face it in many instances commercializing anything usually perverts what true artists example why should true graffiti artists apologize for the many years of selflessly/selfishly decorating passenger trains,risking life and limb, only for mindless people to now be perfectly ok with alcohol companies flashing advertisements in our childrens face on the sides of trains.So let me ask you Orvetti is money what makes it ok for an individual/entity/corporation to decide what content is acceptable to take up our public space?