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  1. 1. In 1997, having contracted to fewer than 2000 locations, the Hardee's chain was acquired by CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the Carl's Jr. fast-food restaurant chain. (Imasco retained the few remaining Roy Rogers locations until 2003, at which time the trademark and franchise system were reportedly purchased by Frederick, Maryland-based Plamondon Enterprises.) [11] Over time, some Hardee's restaurants were simply converted to serve products available from Carl's Jr., and also took on the Carl's Jr. star logo in the process. Some locations were simply fully rebrandedCarl's Jr. - that was a year after Wendy's and Tim Horton purchased most of the Hardee's stores in Michigan. The name "charbroiling," but neither the actual process (no rocks) nor the original two signature burgers made by charbroiling, was reintroduced in 2001 with the addition of a Thick burger menu. Hardee's moved its headquarters from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to downtown St. Louis, Missouri, in 2001. [12] CKE Restaurants has been dual branding some Hardee's locations with Red Burrito, similar to its Green Burrito/Carl's Jr. Dual brand concept. This is a similar strategy used by Yum! Brands with its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W Restaurants and Long John Silvers concepts to help expand brands without the additional expense of new buildings and land. [13] Hardee's has found a niche market in smaller towns that may lack franchises of the other major hamburger chains. Hardee's closed its restaurants in Hong Kong on December 27, 2006, [14] due to problems with franchising rights. On March 12, 2007, the first-ever franchised Hardee's restaurant (located in Rocky Mount, North Carolina) was demolished to make room for a veterans memorial park named after Jack Laughery, a former Hardee's executive and U.S. Army veteran. [15] As of the fiscal year ended January 25, 2010, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,141 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, including 1,905 Hardee's restaurants and 1,224 Carl's Jr. Restaurants. Hardee's recently opened another branch in Pakistan. In May 2011, Hardee's opened a branch in Alma-Ata, Almaty, Kazakhstan, at the TOO Mega Center Alma-Ata, with another store opening in the same city just weeks after. Although the stores are named Hardee's, they serve the Carl's Jr. Menu. There is also a Hardee's branch in Muscat, Oman. In January 2007, Hardee's had a challenge filed against it with the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office by River West Brands, LLC of Chicago for the use of the Burger Chef Trademark and name. Shortly thereafter, Hardee's reissued the Burger Chef Big Chef sandwich in Terre Haute, Indiana, as a trial offering and later in other Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri markets for a limited time. The reissue of the Big Shef has also utilized the Burger Chef name and logo in advertisements in the markets in which it is offered, and the claim was to provide Burger Chef fans with their Big Shef "fix". On April 16, 2009, River West Brands dropped their petition for cancellation and both parties agreed to pay their own attorney’s fees. In the early days of the take-over by CKE, Hardee's began to use the anthropomorphic smiling star logo that Carl's Jr. had used for many years. "The Hardee's Star", as it was now called, appeared in a series of commercials played by a dwarf in a costume likeness of the star. Norm Macdonald provided the voice for the Hardee's Star. For a time, many Hardee's locations even gave out free antenna toppers in the shape of the recently adopted star. The star remains Hardee's logo, but the mascot ceased appearing in the commercials with the advent of the Thickburger campaign. A new Hardee's logo was unveiled in 2006 that featured script lettering and further minimized the smiling star icon.