It doesn't seem that hard to come up with an original name for a coffee shop, but cafe owners always seem to fall back on the same familiar tropes: puns that pierce the deepest depths of cliché, un-Googleable generalisms, and slang so recycled it could be sold by Seventh Generation. Potential coffee shop owners, you can do better! Here are 11 naming conventions that should be taken out with the trash.
Cool Beans... or just anything with "Bean" in it
The word bean should be off limits in general, but Cool Beans most of all, unless you're actively courting a clientele of hacky sack owners.
If this were some oblique reference to Data East's 1982 arcade smash Burger Time, then I fully endorse it. Since that's less than likely, Coffee Time is more probably the decision of someone whose general life philosophy is in line with the font Comic Sans.
Myth has it that a goat-herder named Kaldi discovered coffee after his herd munched on some beans and began to do the prehistoric version of the Nae Nae. You might earn a few coffee-nerd points for a name like this... if this name hadn't been chewed on by so many shops that by this point it's essentially a goat's favorite food: garbage.
"Your Name" Coffee Shop
Neil, I bet you're a swell guy, put those swell brain cells to a test and think of something more original than the first word you ever learned how to write.
"That Street Name" Cafe
It doesn't get any less original than relying on your street name or address number to signify your business. This is made worse when trying to steal cool points by associating yourself with a street whose hip reputation you're definitely ruining.
Naming your business after a profession that is universally reviled for snobbiness is not great business acumen. There's a chain in Portland called Barista that's phenomenal, but they get a pass because Portland is the only town in America where barista is an accepted career path.
Nothing against unity or diplomacy or mediation, but this name is admitting that there's nothing special about your business.
Press is up there with "bean" in terms of awful words to use in your name, first because it's just a stressful concept, second because it's not a fun word to say, and third because it opens up a Pandora's box of not-quite-puns like Freedom of the Press or Under Press-ure.
Daily Grind or It's A Grind or... Bump N Grind
We get it. Oh, we get it! Grind! Like how you grind coffee, and how if you name your shop this I hope you grind your teeth at night until there's no more enamel and you can't drink coffee and decide to close your cafe and open a shop that specializes in the type of discount interior décor you might find at Michaels, which is coincidentally where you thought up your cafe name. Bump n Grind is particularly offensive to R. Kelly fans, but at least it's better than Daily Grind, which is offensive to anyone who has ever experienced a day.
Even if your name is Joe, this is not acceptable. Especially if you name is Joe, actually.
The Coffee Cup
This is the only coffee cup that I refuse to drink out of.
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Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. If he were to open a coffee shop, he would name it Peanut, after his dog. Follow him to an adorable Shih Tzu coffee logo at @Dannosphere.