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Thursday, October 25, 2007



Change it brother, change it. Not that I have a better suggestion, but you are a different man now.


oh Brett, you already know the new name:



If you are thinking of rethinking it, do it.
Something a little less soft.

jen maiser

less soft? like "BAD ASS" or something?



Ahh... I think you should seize the moment and choose a name that reflects your spirited response to the "lemons" life's been handing you recently. In fact, how about "Zest!" Or, for a little Spanish flavor, "Sabor!" "Con Gusto!" or "Aprovechar!" (Please insert upside down exclamation points where needed.)


Obert. Unless you're afraid people will think it's an Irish Pub run by Bert. ;)


Before seeing your alternatives, I have to say I really liked Olallie and would also consider Obert, because you changed. I will be waiting for the other suggestions....


How about The International House of Pintxos, which you could abbreviate to IHOP?

You could have cruets of various sauces on the table in metal holders, formica tables, build a large thatched, heavily-sloped roof, and decorate in turquoise.

Oh, and have thermal carafes on each table.

But filled with sherry instead of coffee.


I am with Shauna - I like 'open'. I just do. And it has an air, a life about it that i think embodies how you think about food and cook and write. I think it's reflective of who you are and what you want to convey with your restaurant and your cooking. I think the name has already picked you. So what are you waiting for?


Oh and I cannot really bribe you being all the way in New York, however, should KS and I make it to SF sometime soon, I'll make the most decadent molasses/chocolate cookies you've ever had. So there. That's my bribe. Or promise of a treat.


I already love Olallie. It's been making me sad to think of it vaporizing, even if just in name.

But change is good, and I like Shauna's idea.

But what about "Obert" to make it more reflective of your emphasis? (Or is that all up for grabs, too?)


Sorry I've been slow to respond here. Looks like the suggestions are already starting to roll in.

Open has at least 2 supporters. Kind of a funny name for a restaurant, in an amusing sort of way. I picture an Abbott & Costello type routine on the phone: "Are you open on Monday?" "Yes, that's our name. We're Open every day." "Good. I'd like to make a reservation for 4 on Monday." "Sorry, we're closed that day." "But you said you were open every day." "Yes, that's our name...."

Obert has some support. Add it to the list. I'll list all the suggestions on the final day, focusing attention on the ones that have the most support and that I also like.

Zest!, Sabor!, etc. to play on the lemon metaphor. There's already a Savor in the neighborhood, so that won't work. But I'll add the others to the list. Thanks!

IHOP. Very funny, David.

Olallie supporters don't give up hope! Just because I've gone through some life changes doesn't necessarily mean I have to change the restaurant's name. I just want to explore it as a possibility. I chose the name, after all. My ex had little to do with it. As I'll explain Sunday, I mainly want to explore other names that have more Spanish/Catalan roots.



You asked for lurkers to speak up so here I am. A restaurant hopping bunny rabbit told me about your blog a while ago and I've been checking it out ever since. I keep coming back for more, just like your future customers will be doing when they finally get to dine at your restaurant.

Here's my opinion (sorry I can't wait 'til Sunday). Olallie is already branded in my mind. I think it's a great name. I can't recall ever hearing the word before I read about it either on your blog or in an article referencing you in another publication.

Since then, I've learned what Olallie means and seem to see it all the time. My point is, if I hear or read the word, I think of your upcoming restaurant. I wonder if other people make the same connection.

So, one possible negative in changing the name could be that certain people who have made the same connection that I have may lose track of you. Sources that have referenced you would also no longer be accurate as the name of your then soon to open restaurant may be different.

Olallie is easy to pronounce, it is fun to pronounce, it's a fresh berry that is also from Northern California. It has got a lot of great things going for it. I think you can be a zealously Spanish/Catalan inspired restaurant without having to give it a Spanish/Catalan name.

Hopefully, this isn't too confusing and/or useless information.



That would be my name for your restaurant. You are such a positive guy you need a very positive upbeat name for Chez Brett

If Light is not good then get another name that reflects your positive attitude

Other suggestions---->>>

Saint Cloud




Wild Currant

Wild Strawberries

***** Berries imply silliness and children and summer and the daylight of summer. Positive image


Olallie is OK

My strategy is you have a light positive slightly hippie-dippy name for you restaurant. But you hit them right between the eyes with your serious food once they get inside. First thing- you always serve a lagniappe of what you have in surplus. First thing the waiter does is puts that on their table. You take the initiative this way and make your bold positive statement

You can cut out the freebies (lagniappe) once you get your restaurant established

So name is yin (feminine force) and sort of a misleading lure
And your food is yang (masculine force) where you knock their sox off


What about flow/flujo (as in go with the...)



Yay! I'm starting to hear from the lurkers.

art, those are some excellent points in favor of keeping Olallie. I also have been concerned about the negative impact of changing the horse's name in midstream, so to speak. When I say Olallie is still under consideration, I'm serious.

dennisw, I like your reasoning. Yin name. Light. Very good, but people may be expecting diet food. Luz, perhaps, to make it more Spanish (although there are a few restaurants with that name elsewhere in the US).

EB, I'll go with the flow and add it to the list.


Definitely don't use Luz
Your Spanish phase will be gone soon. It's what you like now

"Light" may be no good for name of restaurant

But keep restaurant name yin little hippie-dippy
But once they get in you show them what serious, devoted and competent is really about. If you can run good (half?) marathon at age 38 you can do this.

"What one man can do, another man can do"

"For all my life, I've have wanted to do something that was, um, that was unequivocal"

BTW Brett I like you because I like sardines. Twice I visited sardine factories in Maine with my family. The herring/sardine family is amazing. Just the Baltic fishery for example

I've always been intrigued by the grilled sardines in Italy etc. Just haven't made it over there yet but it really doesn't matter because I can just glance at Tony Bourdain on TV chowing down on some and I get it all remotely. The people, the atmosphere, the food, the history

kat f.

brett's open kitchen. has this been suggested already? oh well.


kat f., I really like Open Kitchen as a name. I think I like it better than just plain Open. Or Obert. Thank you. Definitely adding it to the list.


I will make a name suggestion anonymously, but honestly, I couldn't read "Ollalie" without singing the tune to "Lollypop, Lollypop, you make my heart go GIDDY-up." So I'm kinda relieved you're seeking something else.

FWIW, I've been designing websites and stuff since 1994, and online since 1989. You don't want ANY name you have to spell or explain to people. (Which is why I think "Ollalieberry" is challenging: where DO those two L's go? First or second? See what I mean?)

I initially loved "OPEN" as a restaurant name, but imagine the Chronicle writer who has to type the words "Open is open."

Get a name with no possible pronunciation ambiguities or hidden double entendres. (I am think of the very unfortunate name of the NYC restaurant, Ureña, which is the last name of the chef. Given the inability of most of the internet to use diacriticals or to pronounce any Spanish word with a tilde, well, I rest my case.)

With over a dozen years of helping people in this field, I always hope to give a helpful thought or two to various aspects of this project.





Oh, Sam got it in before me. Darn! Sardine is my vote also.


Sardine =is= good.

If you're considering "Open," consider "Abierto," if my rusty Spanish is any good.

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