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May 27, 2010

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EGO! In big, bright neon. It's perfect! Actually, Rubato is a pretty good name, in light of the musical connotation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempo_rubato

Interesting! When I was in grad school in Boston in the early 80s, we often went to an unnamed seafood restaurant on the pier, which we just called "No Names" for lack of anything better. "Let's go to No Names tonite!" "Sure!" I don't know if it's still there, but as far as I know, it never had an official name.

Linda: The No Name Bar in Sausalito, CA, has been around for at least 50 years. And then there's The Nameless in Oakland: http://bit.ly/dm4xYL

NextMoon: If not Ego, then perhaps that restaurant in "L.A. Story" that everyone pronounces "lee-dee-OH," with a French accent. It's "L'Idiot," of course.

I've found it's very common for a client to want the right name to "jump out" at them, and this desire is usually reported in the negative - "Nothing jumped out at me!"

I have now put it into my official pre-brief document that "The right name isn't like a rattlesnake - it won't 'jump out at you'. It's more like a shy kitten, which we will have to lure out from under the car."

I tell them neither Google, nor Yahoo! nor Blackberry jumped off the page - people had to notice them, try them on, say them out loud, write them down in their own hand, think them through - only then did their charms begin to be revealed.

Mark: I love the "shy kitten" metaphor. Permission to steal?

"Nick's" is best.

I don't think I ever realized what a lot of ego-driven foolishness people in your line of work encounter. The most ridiculous part of this particular example is, with a celebrity chef and a location like Lincoln Center, this is one of those rare cases where the name is almost beside the point. They could call it The Dog's Breakfast; if the food and the buzz were great, the foodies would come.

Given the story in the Times, it sounds like it's destined to be one of those places that's more about the foofaraw than the food.

I think "Patina" has a nice sound to it. Or "Ego." Or, wait, "Ergo" I'm brainstorming.

Linda, Nancy: After almost 100 years in business, I'm pretty sure that the actual name of the place on the pier in Boston literally is "NoName":

http://www.nonamerestaurant.com/

I remember good greasy seafood on paper plates there! (and cheap? free? parking)

Oh, and you can totally steal that kitten/rattlesnake thing.

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