A Darlington restaurant has officially rebranded after it was forced to change its name following a challenge from another venue of the same name.

Akbar the Great, which is based on Duke Street in Darlington, was approached in March this year by a chain in Bradford which goes by a similar name. 

Despite first opening its doors in 2019, amassing over 5000 followers online and being rated the third-best restaurant on TripAdvisor with a five-star rating on TripAdvisor, Akbar The Great conceded defeat in the battle over its name. 

At the time, the restaurant said: "Akbar the Great, a cherished family-owned business since 2019, which took over an established enterprise dating back to 2016, faces an unprecedented challenge.

"We have recently received a notice from 'AKBARS', a multinational Indian restaurant chain based in Bradford, demanding an immediate name change.

"Despite months of arduous paperwork and negotiations, Akbar the Great has regrettably lost the battle. We find ourselves compelled to undergo a name change.

"We at Akbar the Great now stand at a crossroads, grappling with the daunting prospect of rebranding. Will the goodwill painstakingly built over the years, amidst the challenges of COVID-19, seamlessly transition to a new identity?

"We shall rebrand as ABU’S and hopefully be fully transitioned by May 1, 2024. In this time of uncertainty, my family turns to its loyal friends and supporters.

"Please keep supporting our family-run restaurant.

"We remain resolute in our commitment to serving the Darlington community and look forward to embarking on this new chapter with the support of our valued friends and patrons. Thank you."

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On Tuesday (May 7), the Indian restaurant announced that it would be rebranding as Abu’s - highlighting that it was the same restaurant as before, albeit a name change. 

In an online post, the venue said: "Abu’s is now the restaurant formerly known as Akbar The Great. Not everyone will be aware that it is still the same family-run restaurant as before, just under a new name. Same family, same chefs, same staff, same menu.

"Please could I ask you all to share this post to raise awareness, if I could also get fellow local businesses to share this post and support our small family-run business it would be much appreciated?"