Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Name Game 2

The Name Game for the new place continues. There are some seriously sick and twisted people out there. Here are some of the suggestions:

- Spiral Jetty
- Persephone
- Level
- entonces
- kayumanggi
- talyer
- kabura
- Rover 21
- Cibo e Latte
- Liberty City
- C.H.U.D.
- Cloverfield


Anonymous said...

How about "Fuse" or "Weld"? Both mean to combine or conjoin which is what I think that you are trying to do with coffee and food.

I personally really like "Fuse". It was the first thing that came to mind when you were describing your venture.

Sigmund said...

Why not just call it a day with "crema" - yes I see that there is a restaurant by that name in NYC - but it's a mexican place ?!

true said...

Here's what 10 years as a marketing director/brand manager buys you:

-skip any name that directly or indirectly describes what you do. Not to pick on Anonymous, but Fuse for a fusion restaurant is as problematic as Java Joe's Bean Hut for a coffee business. Both narrow meaning when you want to open meaning up. Avoid obviousness.

-rosebud. Charles Foster Kane's dying word is a good place to start. Pick a personal word that had meaning for you, but is a mystery to others. A good, but not obvious, name is a powerful starting point of a narrative.

-Topolobambo. It's the perfect name for Rick Bayless's high-end restaurant. It is poetic in that it evokes exoticness without anyone having to know what the heck it is/means, has personal meaning, and is far enough out of the way that very few people will have been there. (ok, so I've been to the real Topo. It was a dump. Go figure.) Look for place names, song titles, and just about any line from The Tempest, Hamlet, or Macbeth.

-it's just common sense, but avoid words that are homonyms or are just hard to pronounce, spell, or understand. Before I settled on Volta, I was ready to use Cafe 'pataphysique. Even I would misspell it on occasion, and the in-joke was just too deep to have impact. And use Google to see if you have a snowball's chance of a high listing or if you've taken a name that is already firmly related to coffee, cafe, bar, or whatever you are going to call your type of place.

My 4 favorite coffee bar names take radically divergent approaches. Trabant (satellite or iconic east german plastic car). Verite (complete with logo with an 8mm film camera). Intelligentsia (abstract intellectual concept that was often based around cafe cultures), and 9th St. Espresso (especially once they expanded away from 9th St.) 9th St. shouldn't work at all as a name, but it does. It sounds New York. short, to the point, no nonsense. Logo and menu to match. Designed and undesigned at the same time.

Anonymous said...


Un-G said...

Bring back "The Other Place" - curry pork chops and pitchers of Kava