The Fat Turk in Stamford in legal battle to save name

The Fat Turk in St Paul's Street, Stamford'Photo: MSMP080813-003js
The Fat Turk in St Paul's Street, Stamford'Photo: MSMP080813-003js
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A popular restaurant in Stamford is fighting to keep its name, just months after opening in the town.

The Fat Turk opened in February in St Paul’s Street and soon gained an enviable reputation.

The Fat Turk in St Paul's Street, Stamford - joint owner Ertunch Kazim'Photo: MSMP080813-008js

The Fat Turk in St Paul's Street, Stamford - joint owner Ertunch Kazim'Photo: MSMP080813-008js

Its food, staff and service were all being praised by people who returned to dine there time and again.

And it was named number one out of 71 restaurants in the town by TripAdvisor.com – a website that provides travel information based on users’ own experiences.

Now an eatery with the same name, some 83 miles away in Ongar, Essex, has taken legal action to force the Stamford restaurant to change its name.

Ertunch and Shelly Kazim are owners of the restaurant, which offers a Turkish and Cypriot-inspired menu.

The couple, who were both born in the UK, met while living in Cyprus.

Ertunch said: “There was no business in these premises for eight months and we had to start from scratch

“It was a lot of hard work and now we’re faced with this legal action.”

Shelly added: “We’ve had to put everything on hold – creating a website, even advertising – until a court makes a decision.”

If the ruling goes against the Stamford Fat Turk, the couple will have to change the signs inside and outside the restaurant, remove the name from Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor, design new artwork and produce new menus and business cards.

Ertunch said: “It is going to cost a lot of money. We’ve made this place a success in a matter of months. Now it seems the name is an issue.

“After months of hard work it is the last thing we need. Running a new business is not easy.”

The popularity of the restaurant was obvious judging by the comments posted on TripAdvisor alone.

“Feels like you are eating abroad”, “full of Eastern delight”, “excellent food and service”, “a hidden gem” and “Outstanding: best food in the county without a doubt” were just some of the comments from reviewers.

There has been plenty of other support including 159 tweets to the restaurant’s account.

Jon Whowell, an “avid fan” said he failed to understand how a restaurant in Stamford could possibly affect the business of another one such a long way away.

Mr Whowell, a crisis management consultant living in Ryhall, said: “There are four pubs called Blue Bell around Stamford, I don’t see any of them kicking up. There are as many Red Lions and Kings Arms so why is this an issue?

“It is a shame because The Fat Turk is a brilliant restaurant. The food is good and the staff are wonderful. It’s a fun place to dine.”

Ertunch said the support of customers was helping them cope with the “stress and hassle” involved.

He added: “We are very, very lucky. We have many loyal customers and lots of support and we’d like to thank everyone.”

The couple say they are optimistic and plan to put forward a good argument to the legal challenge.

In the meantime they are celebrating gettiing their first five star hygine rating from South Kestevan District Council.

No-one from The Fat Turk in Ongar was available for comment.