Hipster business names

thistle and clover

Fort Greene

A few months back, someone sent me a “hipster business name generator” that  randomly creates quirky names like “Mortar & Smoke,” “Bath & Sandstone,” “Coil & Death,” and so on.

As these examples make clear, a good hipster business name does not blurt out the nature of the business. To give a counterexample: although it includes two nouns linked by an ampersand, “KC Tasty Deli & Grill” down the street is decidedly not a hipster business. Hipster business names whisper and wink.  It’s acceptable to hint at what goes on inside, so long as the reference is obscure, archaic, or both (I’m looking at you, Runner & Stone, with love). Ideally, one or both nouns give off a musty whiff of 19th century London.  And while ampersands do look superior on logos, spelling out the word “and” is (barely) permitted. You may substitute a plus sign if your establishment’s esthetic is more mid-century modern than steampunk.

This first-ever Not another Brooklyn blog quiz invites you to match wits with local hipster entrepreneurs. Most of the names are taken from establishments spotted on runs around Brooklyn (specifically, Park Slope and points north) and lower Manhattan. (I did cheat a little by looking up other examples on Yelp to round out the list to an even 20. The alternative was a long run to Williamsburg, and I just wasn’t up to it.)

So have at it, readers: given a hipster business name, can you figure out the nature of the business?

Answers appear at the bottom of the post, below the photo gallery. Feel free to post your score in the comments; I trust you to be honest.

1. Thistle & Clover

(a) expensive yarn  (b) bakery and tea shop  (c) clothing boutique  (d) urban gardening supplies  (e) antiques

2. Cull & Pistol

(a) artisanal butcher  (b) retro oyster bar  (c) artisanal cocktail bar  (d)  taxidermy shop  (e) antiques

3. Fork + Pencil

(a) high-end cookware  (b) high-end stationery  (c) high-end cookware and stationery  (d) ironic diner  (e) antiques

4. Holler & Squall

(a) taxidermy shop  (b) vinyl records  (c) fishmonger  (d) children’s toys  (e) antiques

5. Cog & Pearl

(a) fishmonger  (b) retro oyster bar  (c) artisanal cocktail bar  (d) jewelry and gift boutique  (e) fine & unique watches

6. Rag & Bone

(a) clothing boutique  (b) pet supply boutique  (c) artisanal butcher  (d) vintage/resale shop  (e) gift atelier

7. Withers & Grain

(a) home brewing supplies  (b) custom furniture  (c) artisanal butcher  (d) equestrian supplies  (e) artisanal cocktail bar

8. Spoonbill & Sugartown

(a) artisanal cocktail bar  (b) taxidermy shop  (c) bookseller  (d) artisanal confectioners  (e) naughty lingerie

9. Line & Label

(a) clothing boutique  (b) fishing supplies  (c) high-end stationery  (d) retro dive bar that serves brunch  (e) classy lingerie

10. Concrete + Water

(a) architectural and renovation services  (b) North Brooklyn realtor  (c) clothing boutique  (d) yoga studio  (e) artisanal cocktail bar

11. Fox & Fawn

(a) expensive yarn  (b) taxidermy shop  (c) general merchandise, specializing in artisanal and fair trade items  (d) vintage/resale shop  (e) children’s clothing

12. Soot & Tusk

(a) taxidermy shop  (b) clothing boutique  (c) barbershop  (d) retro cigar bar  (e) pub

13. Grace & Favor

(a) home furnishings  (b) yoga studio  (c) Christian coffeehouse  (d) jewelry and gift boutique  (e) vintage/resale shop

14. Hope & Anchor

(a) seasonally-driven restaurant and artisanal bakery  (b) retro dive bar that serves brunch  (c) clothing boutique  (d) gift atelier  (e) hair studio

15. Bash & Bow

(a) retro dive bar that serves brunch  (b) pet grooming service  (c) gift-wrapping service  (d) gift atelier  (e) event space

16. Bitter & Esters

(a) artisanal cocktail bar  (b) home brewing supplies  (c) bookseller  (d) children’s toys  (e) adult toys

17. Owl & Thistle

(a) expensive yarn  (b) bookseller  (c) fine linens  (d) seasonally-driven restaurant and artisanal bakery  (e) general merchandise, specializing in artisanal and fair trade items

18. Gauge + Tension

(a) expensive yarn  (b) expensive hardware  (c) architectural and renovation services  (d) bicycles and bicycle repair  (e) custom furniture

19. Mason & Mug

(a) Christian coffeehouse  (b) kosher bar  (c) architectural and renovation services  (d) high-end cookware  (e) barbershop

20. Runner & Stone

(a) seasonally-driven restaurant and artisanal bakery  (b) clothing boutique  (c) personal fitness coaching  (d) home furnishings  (e) running shoes and apparel

See answers below photos.


Prospect Heights



Crown Heights

Crown Heights

Atlantic Avenue

Atlantic Avenue


1(c); 2(b); 3(e); 4(e); 5(d); 6(a); 7(b); 8(c); 9(a); 10(c); 11(d); 12(b); 13(a); 14(b); 15(d); 16(b); 17(e); 18(a); 19(b); 20(a)


3 thoughts on “Hipster business names

  1. Pingback: One Brooklyn runner’s totally idiosyncratic spectator’s guide to the TCS New York City Marathon | Not another Brooklyn blog

  2. Pingback: Watching the NYC marathon in Brooklyn – 2016 edition | Not another Brooklyn blog

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