Duckfat in Forest Park changes name to Fatduck

Portland, Maine restaurant trademarked the name Duckfat in 2010

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By Nick Moroni

Forest Park Review Editor

A popular Madison Street bar and restaurant is tweaking its name after learning that a restaurant on the East Coast shared the same title, but had trademarked it.

The 7218 Madison St. restaurant formerly known as Duckfat will soon shuffle the lettering on its sign so it reads Fatduck, a change they've already made on their website.

It's in response to a phone call owner Dennis Miller received a few months ago from an attorney for a Portland, Maine restaurant that is also called Duckfat. Miller said he was told that the Portland restaurant had trademarked its name in 2010, and that its owners would appreciate it if his Forest Park bar and grill would change its name to avoid any confusion.

"They called and they were very nice about it. [But] it's such a weird thing," Miller said. "I don't really get it. We're not affecting [the Portland restaurant's] business in any way."

He said he didn't know why it was an issue because of the great distance, but also because the two restaurants are not at all similar.

"They're a totally different concept," Miller said.

Besides the French fries fried in duck fat, there are no two items that are offered at both places. However, both restaurants essentially offer creative, high-end bar food.

"We don't want people to associate the place in Forest Park with our Duckfat," said Ashley Shane, who has been the general manager of the Portland Duckfat for five years.

"The reason we're called Duckfat is we hand cut potatoes and fry them in duck fat," said Shane, adding that, after looking at the Fatduck's website, duck fat "doesn't seem like it's their number-one thing that they feature."

"Our main focus is our duck fat fries," she added.

Both serve up a decent amount of fare with duck in it, though. Fatduck has duck fat fries, duck confit quesadillas and crispy duck breast; while Duckfat serves duck rilletes, duck fat fries, duck confit and duck beignets (donuts fried in duck fat).

According to Shane, the owners of Duckfat found out about then-Duckfat in Forest Park when a patron presented the Portland restaurant with a sweatshirt from the Forest Park eatery.

What's more, she added that the owners have discussed franchising, and, thus, would not want anyone to think that the Forest Park location is part of the operation.

"That's one of our biggest things; that's why we trademarked our name," Shane said.

When asked if Duckfat, Inc., the company that owns the Portland restaurant, has any plans to move as far west as Chicagoland, Shane said she didn't wish to comment. She did mention that the company would like to open up additional locations outside of Portland, though.

When his attorneys advised him that he would have to change the name of the eatery, Miller tweaked it to Fatduck; he then applied for a trademark in July.

"We already changed our T-shirts and sweatshirts," he joked.

Reader Comments

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Violet Aura  

Posted: September 28th, 2011 8:28 PM

TK: What's wrong with provoking discussion? I plead guilty. Better than being wishy-washy milque-toasty. And you've got to be kidding me. Ever heard of ahimsa? Look. It. Up.


Posted: September 28th, 2011 8:03 PM

@Carol, if you could please tell me where I used the word "gay" as an insult, I'd love to know that. Maybe you need to stop reading into things that aren't there. And no need to avoid me, you don't exist as far as I'm concerned as of this moment. Go back to your delusional world of made up remarks. It must be quite lonely in there.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: September 28th, 2011 4:40 PM

@sarge, I suppose it's nice to know that some people actually believe that two wrongs make a right, and that it's ok to use gay as an insult. And now that I know, I also know who to avoid in the future.

Meat Lover from Supply Side City  

Posted: September 28th, 2011 2:08 PM

I absolutely love vegans and vegetarians. They help to keep the price of meat lower. Supply and demand, baby.


Posted: September 28th, 2011 1:54 PM

@Carol, being gay myself, I was responding to a homophobic remark made by cowcarcassburger. He was the one who brought up the "chaps" remark, not me. So go all schizoid on him. Secondly, as for my "high horse", I'm just expressing my abhorrence at the thought of ducks being slaughtered for dishes made at this eatery("?") If that places me atop a high horse, then I am certainly enjoying the view, more so than you. I will always speak out for those who cannot....the animals!


Posted: September 28th, 2011 9:28 AM

@ Violet, you incite and participate in a lot of message board fights. You often are provocative and sometimes nasty with your comments which doesn't add up to your now suggesting the "Light of God" can change "flesh-eating" behavior. If you are truly familiar with the Light of the World then you already know His priority is your soul and your heart instead of your diet. It's not what goes into a man's mouth that defiles him but what comes out of it...and a lot comes out of your mouth on here.

No Dog  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 7:40 PM

@Carol, an ugly thing to say for sure, but s/he was responding to the other poster's homophobic insult.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 4:00 PM

Hey sarge, were your "boys town" shots at the burger guy intended to be homophobic insults? Because that's how it reads. And if so, perhaps you could hop down off your moral high horse.


Posted: September 27th, 2011 3:54 PM

@TrueEthics (misnomer?) I don't belong to PETA nor am I listing their talking points, just talking from experience and from the heart (something I'm sure you are lacking) Since your compassion for animals is nil, then I am more than happy to show people the horrendous lives that they live to feed all of your cruel faces. You will never have empathy for those creatures that you love to devour which makes you less than human. How about making a meal out of your dog? It's just an animal, right?

True Ethics from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2011 10:07 PM

@Violet: What's a "tired bit" is you and Sarge repeating PETA talking points over and over. It's boring, preachy, and mostly untrue. Feel free to live your lives as you choose-- just spare us the sermons.

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 25th, 2011 3:50 PM

@True: I have heard that tired bit like a million times but the fact remains that a blip on a screen versus the groans of angony a frightened cow makes whilst getting its throat slit on an assembly line is quite different. When I pick off leaves of kale on my plant, the plant doesn't die! Same with my herbs and tomatoes and peppers. There is no bloody mess, either. I don't live as a Jain, but I try to do the best I can. But if Fat Duck is where's it's at for you, whatever's clever, dewd...LOL


Posted: September 25th, 2011 2:03 PM

@slaughteredcowcarcassburger, your lame attempt at humor noble but don't give up your day job as a moron. I'm guessing that since you brought up the chaps bit, perhaps it is YOU who has a closet full of them. Did you get them from the same cow that you ate or did your boyfriend buy them for you in Boy's Town along with various other sundries? ;0)


Posted: September 25th, 2011 1:55 PM

@TimothyLane,as for me, I am a vegan and I do not have leather seats in my car (would never buy a car that does)do not consume gelatin mayonnaise (unless it's vegan) would never use insecticides (or kill any insects), and use candles made of soy. I buy only cruelty-free products and don't wear anything made from animals. My luggage is made from canvas and rubber and my comb is made of plastic and rubber. So keep on trying. As for steakburger, he/she isn't even worth a response, just worthless.

True Ethics from Oak Park  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 1:43 PM

Studies show that plants can feel pain and respond to emotions. So, why can't we expand our circle of love and agree not to eat any living thing? I was tortured by the thought of the pain I cause the soybean when I eat tofu! I couldn't sleep at night knowing that when I ate a carrot, I took a life! So, do as I do and only breathe, soak in the sun, and consume dirt and rocks. It's not just a healthier way to live, but the ethical way too. Namaste! Light of God lead us to a no cruelty life!

Top of the Food Chain from Oak Park  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 1:30 PM

For tens of thousands of years, primitive man was pursued as an easy meal by stronger, faster predators. Fast forward: we humans are now the top of the food chain. But some of you are apologizing for it. Weird. Because a bear or a lion would not hesitate to eat you given the chance. They don't care that you have a face or a family. Or that you dress your dog up for Halloween. They just know that you're tasty, and their hungry. Be a vegan if you wish, but I'm a proud omnivore, so shut up.

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 7:39 PM

Yes, Timmy, that is the point. It's probably close to impossible to be 100% vegan but why flaunt dead flesh-eating? It's because the person has not gotten to the point of understanding exactly how horrible it is. There is a lack of sensitivity, in other words. Nothing that the Light of God cannot change...

Timothy Lane from Brookfield Zoo  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 2:24 PM

(actually OP) - To Clarify...I am NOT talking about going out eating a Blue Whale steak, or a Elephant Burger, or a Rhino chop. All I'm saying is there's nothing better than a juicy Bone-In Filet or T-Bone, or Hamburger (which fat duck does right), or for that matter, crispy duck with plum sauce.

Timothy Lane from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 2:07 PM

@Violet Aura. Point taken - I'm glad you don't drive. But I'll bet you use one of these...A comb, mayonnaise, gelatin, photographic film, pet food, vitamin capsules, paint brushes, luggage, shampoo, soap, shaving cream, deodorant, candles, crayons, floor wax, detergents, paints, perfumes, SYNTHETIC RUBBER, insecticides (although you may not kill bugs either), in other words,I'll bet you use more dead animals than you think, or are aware of.


Posted: September 23rd, 2011 2:03 PM

I've never seen a fat duck, have you?

SteakBurger from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 1:35 PM

I almost forgot...Duckfat, no matter what the name, is a great spot to eat. The duckfat fries are stuff of legend, burgers are great, and the outdoor plaza rocks.

SteakBurger from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 1:32 PM

When last seen, Sarge was chastising Blue Ribbon Meat Market patrons. You & Violet need to stop supressing millions of carnivorous years of intelligent design and societal advancement. It's not healthy for your mind, your body, or your social skills. Today's meat producing animals are well fed, well cared for, and humanely processed for our enjoyment, PETA propaganda not withstanding. Grill 'em up!! And I'm betting that NOTHING gets between Sarge and his leather chaps!!

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 12:21 PM

@Timmy: I don't drive and my bike seat is vinyl. And guess what? I DO have shoes that are made of leather that I'll wear. I don't seek out leather, though. Many shoes these days are not made with the stuff. Here's the deal, though: while it's probably unavoidable to be perfect in this aspect (although many vegans will go to the ends of the earth to avoid dead cow skin), there is a huge difference between buying a pair of shoes w/leather once in five years & eating meat 2X a day!

Timothy Lane from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 11:55 AM

@Violet and Sarge...Let's not forget about the food chain here. Also, I'll bet that one of you has seats in your car, possibly a wallet or purse or shoes or a coat, and Sarge, I'll bet you even have a pair of "chaps" that are made of leather (which comes from the hide of a cow). Thank you for your concern. Go FATDUCK !!!!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 12:52 AM

Get yourself a Service Mark and change it to DuckFatFood


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 11:19 PM

Violet, Take off your leather when speaking please.

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 9:10 PM

@Christina: OR...maybe it's time for people to open their heart chakras and realize that, just as so many meat-eaters dote upon their dogs and cats, other animals feel pain, both emotional and physical. What is done to animals in the name of "food" for humans is despicable! And to add to it, the energy expended to raise cattle is a disgrace.

ChristinaF from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 5:21 PM

You know, sarge...that old line about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar is worth considering. Insulting people who eat meat because you feel that it's wrong isn't going to magically make them vegetarian. It's just going to make them think you're rude. Which is fine if your goal is to piss people off, but kind of counter-productive if your goal is to convince them not to eat meat. Anyway, I hear Duckfat...I mean awesome.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 1:56 PM

I am a lawyer, and Hank is correct, if you don't continue to enforce your trademark, you risk losing it. McDonald's only had 1 store years ago...if they let others use the same name...well...I think you get the idea.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 11:14 AM

@ David Hammond, you beat me to soon as I saw the change Blumenthal's the fat duck was the first thing that hit me. Never been to the UK the fat duck, but have been to Forest Park Duck Fat/Fat Duck, and I like it, and will go again no matter what it might be called in the near future.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 10:48 AM

Waiting for Heston Blumenthal, of the Michelin three-star and identically-named "Best Restaurant in the World," to weigh in:

OP rez  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 10:19 AM

This place is awesome. Food is GREAT, really chill atmosphere and the staff is ALWAYS friendly. Best burger in OP/FP area, for sure.

Timothy Lane from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 10:02 AM

What a great place to eat - food is tremendous, staff is awesome, and owners are great, nice folks. Also, I love animals too....their delicious !!!!

Hank Marquardt  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 9:59 AM

I'm not a lawyer but I believe part of keeping a trademark is defending it ... unlike copyright which is yours as the author regardless, if you have a trademark but never enforce it, you can lose it; or lose the ability to enforce it anyway.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 9:53 AM

What a horrible place to eat. Glorifying the fat from ducks that were slaughtered so that you can feed your fat faces with it. How about changing the name to Duck Out as in no duck served here. But then that would mean that you would have to possess a heart in order to name it that.

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