Restaurant News

Kuma Burgers Changes Its Name to burger-chan Following Trademark Dispute

Good-bye, Kuma Burgers. Hello, burger-chan.
Good-bye, Kuma Burgers. Hello, burger-chan. Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Good-bye, Kuma Burgers. Hello, burger-chan. - PHOTO BY CHUCK COOK PHOTOGRAPHY
Good-bye, Kuma Burgers. Hello, burger-chan.
Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
This week in bizarre name-swap news, local umami-packed lunch spot Kuma Burger is changing its name to burger-chan.

A press release tells fans, "Rest assured, everything you love about Kuma Burgers will still be at burger-chan," including chef, Oxheart alum and owner Willet Feng and co-owner Diane Wu Feng, the entire menu including burgers, hot dogs, fish and veggie sandwiches, loaded fries and nuomi ice cream milkshakes, and the location at the underground food court at Greenway Plaza (free two-hour parking is still free too).

The release does not, however, include the reason why the name of the restaurant — included in Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook's top 100 restaurants of 2016 — is being changed in the first place. For that, the Houston Press actually reached out to the Fengs, who tell us that the name change is due to a trademark dispute with a restaurant based in another state. Instead of heading to court, the duo have opted to change their own restaurant's name following a cease and desist order that takes hold as of May 3.

Along with the name change, the Fengs are planning on tightening up their brand a bit too. Diane Wu Feng says, "The word 'chan' is an honorific in Japanese. It usually designates something cute." So a very cute new burger may be on the way along with a potential new location.
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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.