KENYA – Café Javas, the Ugandan restaurant has entered the local market, having opened a new branch in Nairobi to compete the Kenyan chain of coffee houses, Java House as reported by Business Daily.

Café Javas is operating in Kenya’s capital Nairobi under the name CJ’s, prompting competition between the two trademarks, which in 2016 engaged in a legal suit in Uganda over the brand names.

The restaurant chain had moved to court objecting registrar of trademarks’ acceptance of Java House trade name but the court gave the coffee house a go-ahead to register its name and operate its restaurants.

It argued that customers could easily confuse between the two restaurant brands, something the court objected.

While Java House is a chain of coffee houses serving ‘export quality’ Kenyan coffee brewed and served in the region, Café Javas is less of a coffee house but a restaurant offering more variety and an array of dishes.

The Nairobi branch adds to eight of its other stations it operates in Kampala and Entebbe, all serving customers with over 300 menu items.

Cafe Javas is part of Mandela Group of companies, the parent company to Cafe Javas, City Tyres, City Oil, City Lubes, City World, Savers, and Mandela Auto Spares.

Java House has operations across East Africa with other outlets under Planet Yoghurt and 360 Degrees Pizza brands, making it the largest restaurant chain in the region, followed by KFC, Art Caffe restaurant and Subway.

Subway has established outlets through the region including eight in Kenya, three in Tanzania and one in Uganda.

The coffee chain suffers competition mainly from Java House and Art Caffe which has 12 branches, but the entry of smaller coffee houses such as Kaldis and Connect, has changed the game.

Art Caffe launched the upmarket coffee chain, Art Caffe Fairtrade Coffee Blend from coffee sourced locally in Kenya to expand its revenue streams.

Earlier this year, Java Group announced a US$9.97 million in an expansion drive meant to open new outlets in upcoming towns in the region plus venturing into new markets.