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.) Continue reading

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