New Attitude

Kuma Burgers Is Now burger-chan

Legal threats lead to a name change for the beloved burger stand.

By Alice Levitt April 20, 2017

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A burger by any other name...

If you're in Greenway Plaza jonesing for a burger topped with sambal mayo and kimchi relish, don't look for Kuma Burgers. As of May 3, the purveyor of dogs, veggie burgers and fish sandwiches topped with everything from seared Spam to scallion aioli will be known as burger-chan. Nothing has changed but the name, says owners Willet and Diane Wu Feng.

"Kuma’s Corner in Chicago sent us a cease and desist letter, so we had a trademark infringement matter," explains Diane Feng. "In lieu of doing a drawn-out lawsuit, we decided to change our name." The couple, who hope to expand to a second location soon, see this as an opportunity to rebrand.

Diane adds that future endeavors will also be marked with the "-chan" suffix, a Japanese honorific. "It refers to things that are cute or little," Willet says. 

That next "cute or little" thing on the agenda will be chicken sandwiches, the couple says. In the planned new location, both fried and grilled poultry will join the existing menu.

And if you're a fan as much for the cute bear logo ("kuma" means "bear" in Japanese), don't worry. The bear remains the same.

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