MORGAN PARK — Restaurants that are renamed are often eager to tell customers that the business is under new management.
Manzo's Burger at 2353 W. 111th St. in Morgan Park — formerly Five Star Burger — wants everyone to know it's operating with the exact same management.
The popular burger spot offering a bevy of nontraditional burgers unveiled a bright, yellow banner on Tuesday announcing its name change, the result of a trademark flap with another Five Star Burger in New Mexico and Missouri.
The restaurant opened as Five Star Burger on July 5, 2014. Since then, the Manzo family has introduced customers to burgers topped with caramelized pineapple, Italian beef and other unique ingredients.
Its namesake — and best-selling — Five Star Burger pairs the sweet pineapple with savory grilled onions, smoked bacon and white American cheese. The Irish Burger features corned beef, a potato pancake and seared cabbage. The Hangover Burger uses grilled cheese sandwiches as the top and bottom buns.
These creations all start with fresh ground beef are the work of Humberto Manzo Sr., who opened the restaurant with his wife Claudia and his three sons Humberto Jr., Josue and Alejandro.
The rookie restaurateurs from the Midway neighborhood tossed around several names before settling on Five Star Burger, a nod to each of the five members of the Manzo family.
"We picked the name, and we didn't know that there was another restaurant named Five Star Burger," said Humberto Manzo Jr., a senior studying microeconomics and criminal justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
About two months after opening, Humberto Manzo Jr. said the restaurant received a letter threatening legal action if the business continued operating under the name Five Star Burger.
Another restaurant by the same name also operates as Five Star Burgers in New Mexico and Missouri. The owners of the chain envision someday debuting in the Chicago area and sought to protect their trademark, Manzo Jr. said.
"If we didn't change the name, there would be a lawsuit," he said.
However, Manzo Jr. spoke with the owners of the out-of-state chain and explained the innocent mistake. He volunteered to change the name of his family's restaurant, and the burger chain gave them a year to do so.
Meanwhile, the Manzo family had to promise not to advertise under the name Five Star Burger, which made it difficult to spread the word of the new restaurant, Manzo Jr. said.
He and his father said they were eager to shut the door on this chapter of the business. They are expecting to completely replace the signs on the restaurant over the next two weeks.
Some new menu items may be coming too. The restaurant recently added a milk shake station. Skillet cookies will also debut as a dessert item, and Manzo Sr. is also working on a jalapeno-infused burger, possibly topped with guacamole and carnitas — a braised Mexican pork.
Manzo Jr. said he was excited to start advertising the renamed restaurant, too. He said many neighborhood kids were already frequent customers, and he'd like create a student-of-the-month promotion to bring in even more hungry schoolkids.
"This place is full of kids sometimes," Manzo Jr. said. "We get to know them. It's pretty cool."
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