BRATTLEBORO (AP) -- Plans for a second panda-named restaurant in a southern Vermont town are creating a flap.
The owners of Panda North restaurant in Brattleboro are upset that a new restaurant named Panda West is opening in town.
Ting Ting says she and her family have spent 25 years building a loyal following at Panda North and feel like the Panda West owner is stealing their name.
"If someone goes there and has a bad meal it can ruin our reputation," she told the Brattleboro Reformer.
Jia Guang Wang, who owns Panda West, said he owned the former Panda Chinese Restaurant in Keene, N.H., and has registered the Panda West name with the Secretary of State’s office.
"This is Wang’s Panda," he said. "We don’t think anyone will be confused. If we serve good food people will come back."
Ali Sarafzade, director of the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division, said her office can decline a registration if the name it is too similar to an existing business.
"We cannot freeze the use of the word ‘panda’ for the entire state," he said. "This differed by an entire word and we felt that was sufficient to allow the registration to go forward."