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Famous Dave's changes company name, restaurants stay the same

The Minnesota chain wants to branch out.

Famous Dave's is no longer known by its famous name on the stock market, after its board of directors approved a change to its corporate branding.

The Minnesota-based company will soon be known as BBQ Holdings Inc., a move approved by its board on Friday, with its stock market ticket code changing from DAVE to BBQ.

The change will become official next Tuesday, Sept. 17, but it doesn't mean that its chain of restaurants will follow suit, as they'll be keeping the Famous Dave's name.

The reason behind the change is the company is looking to branch out and run restaurants "beyond its namesake chain," the Star Tribune reports.

The company is in the process of getting financing to buy other restaurants across the U.S., the newspaper adds, and already owns one in Oklahoma City.

It comes at a time of change for the company, which has recently introduced revamped menus and decor at its 130-plus restaurants across 35 states, and one in the United Arab Emirates.

The chain recently closed down one of its most distinctive Minnesota restaurants, on the corner of Hennepin and Lake in Uptown's Calhoun Square.

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It still has 12 locations in Minnesota: In Duluth, Apple Valley, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Forest Lake, Minnetonka, Owatonna, Rochester, Woodbury, St. Paul (Highland Park), and Roseville. 

The barbecue chain was founded by Dave Anderson, who opened his first restaurant in Hayward, Wisconsin, in 1994, with the company going public two years later.

Anderson stepped down as the chairman in 2004 to lead the Bureau of Indian Affairs under President George W. Bush, and left the company fully in 2014 before being brought back in 2016 in an advisory role.

He has recently been working on another chain he created, Old Southern Smokehouse, which has five locations across Wisconsin and Minnesota, with the Minnesota locations in Minneapolis and Arden Hills.

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