Everyone agrees that names are getting harder and harder to come by, as the restaurant population increases and the pool of viable names dries up. We’ve seen some doozies in the last few years, and one of the worst trends has been generic restaurant names, whereby new places are called Kitchen, Delicatessen, Cafeteria, Village, and Eatery.
So, please, restaurant namers, put your thinking caps back on and come up with some monikers we can remember, and ones that make us proud to stride into your establishment rather than make us cringe. As a guide, please consult this list of horrible restaurant names that have been inflicted upon the dining public, listed in alphabetical order.
1. Big Booty Bread Company (261 West 23rd Street) — No fecal matter in my baked goods, thank you!
2. Casa Mono (125 East 17th Street) — Remember when you were in high school, got a little rambunctious with your date in the back seat of Dad’s car, and developed a sore throat later on that wouldn’t heal?
3. Chic & Green (109-23 72nd Road, Forest Hills, Queens) — The self-congratulatory name is more likely to suggest a debutante on the verge of puking than a stylish and eco-friendly boite. That SUV parked in the driveway isn’t helping, either.
4. Food for Life Supreme (108 West 116th Street) — This name doesn’t conjure up ideas of anything delicious, and I’m not sure I want anything to do with a “Life Supreme,” which sounds vaguely fascistic.
5. Hairy Monk (337 Third Avenue) — Yes, I get the idea that this is supposed to be funny, but all it evokes for me is the idea of finding a thick curly hair in my soup, as a perv in a brown robe peeks around the corner.
6. Just Like Mother’s (11060 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills, Queens) — Just like Mother’s what? And what if your mother was an awful cook …
7. Kitchen (507 East 6th Street) — The day of the generic restaurant name is hopefully over!
8. Prune (54 East 1st Street) — Isn’t this what you eat after you get constipated? And wouldn’t “Dried Plum” be a much better name?
9. Seersucker (329 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn) — Yes, it’s a lightweight summer striped fabric, but anything with “suck” in the name is a big mistake.
10. Strip House (13 East 12th Street) — The coyness of the name is annoying, and think how disappointed you’d be if you wandered in off the street expecting naked ladies and all you got was steak?
11. Thai Me Up (238 East 14th Street) — When the sexual innuendo overpowers the culinary message, we’ve got trouble.
12. Three Way Restaurant (384 East 188th Street, Fordham, Bronx) — See Strip House and Thai Me Up, above.
13. Wasabi Lobby (1584 Second Avenue) — Sure the name displays what your English prof called “internal rhyme,” but a lobby is a cold, drafty place, and the wasabi in sushi bars is often just powdered green mustard.