Driving around, Oregano and I have noticed an interesting trend emerging. Many restaurants and other eateries now have a single word as their names. I’m not talking about the local restaurant named after the proprietor. No, I’m talking about restaurants with names that are nouns, verbs or adjectives. Some of those names make sense and give the hungry passerby a clue as to the type of fare being offered. In our area we have a steakhouse named Char, a bakery named Rise and a cupcake bakery named Crumbs. I can even understand a bar called Social. However, other restaurants have names that are more mysterious and don’t necessarily have anything to do with the food served within the walls that are holding up that single word sign. For instance, a local restaurant named Tusk doesn’t serve elephant or walrus. I know because I checked the menu on their website. Despite the large horse statue in the dining room of Gallop, they don’t serve horse. I don’t even want to know how Pinch got its name or what kind of service they offer.
Perhaps one word name restaurants have evolved from these tough economic times. Surely it must cost less money to have a sign made when it has fewer letters. Printing costs can be reduced on advertising and menus when there is only a single word. Then again, perhaps it has nothing to do with economy and more to do with marketing. Will an ambiguous name pique a diner’s culinary curiosity enough to lure him into the restaurant? It hasn’t worked on us. What these single word restaurant monikers have done is sparked conversations where we have spent countless minutes creating names of restaurants for all different types of cuisine.*
Jerk – food served with Caribbean flair and poor service
Nosh – a fusion restaurant serving Kosher tapas
Corn – serving all vegetarian fare and selling t-shirts with their slogan: “I got shucked at Corn.”
Satiated – an upscale all you can eat buffet for those with discerning palates and big appetites
Stuffed – the sister restaurant of Satiated, but this all you can eat buffet is at a lower price point
Grown – an organic salad bar
Bags – a sophisticated tea house where really old women serve tiny triangular sandwiches
Melt – a fusion fondue restaurant and ice cream parlor
Jittery – Get those caffeine induced shakes at this café.
Shan-grill-ahhh – a steakhouse
Balls – a smorgasbord of meatballs from around the world
Slurp – a soup stand where spoons are not allowed
Buns – a greasy spoon serving hamburgers
Frizzled – fried chicken, fried shrimp, fried pickles – all fried food, all the time
Pulled – a barbecue joint
Plaid – Scottish food – There just aren’t enough places where you can get good haggis.
Chow – cuisine from Italy
Toast – a bar that serves breakfast because it’s never too early in the day to start drinking
*Thanks to Oregano and my friends, Empanada, Babka, Pepper, Allspice and Pierogi for playing along. If any of our fictitious restaurants actually exist in the world it is purely coincidental. To think that it’s not is giving us way too much credit by thinking that we actually did research.
Have you noticed this one word trend in your corner of the world? Or, have you been inspired to create your own restaurant name? Add your suggestions in the comment section.