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Sunday, December 02, 2007



The fact that you've fallen out of love with Olallie alone is enough for me to tell you to let it go. Its fans -- myself included -- get over it. And I'm not just saying this because of Ampersand; I have thought this for a while but none of the alternatives had been any more appealing.


That should say "Its fans -- myself included -- will get over it."


Change is good Brett, especially when it means that you're a happier man. Your restaurant, by any name, will be loved, because it will be yours.
Speaking of menu items, maybe you could give a nod to Olallie?
And you of course know about the award winning wine that is made in the Santa Cruz mountains from Olallieberries?

O.k. Anita, I'm letting go. Really........ : )


OK Anita I'm over it.


Sorry, Nicole & Barbara -- I didn't meant to say "get over it"! I meant that we WILL get over it. That will teach me to type so early in the morning. :D


I like the sentiment behind "Ampersand," and I can certainly envision some interesting graphic design options using the symbol in conjunction with the word. What keeps getting in the way for me, though, is the sound of the word itself. While oo and oh may be the vowel sounds that are the most pleasing to the ear, it strikes me that the "short a" sound is one of the least melodious. And "Ampersand" has not just one of these sounds, but two.

The other reason I prefer "Contigo" is that the word itself conveys a certain sense of excitement and flair, telling prospective diners that they might expect to dine on food that is infused with some interesting influences. "Ampersand" seems nondescript in this regard, revealing little -- if anything -- about what kind of food to expect. Put another way, if I saw a restaurant named "Contigo" and another one called "Ampersand," I would immediately be intrigued by and drawn to check out the former. And while the importance of this initial name-based impression will undoubtedly diminish as your restaurant develops a reputation and a following, it still suggests to me that "Contigo" is a better fit with your actual concept.

Dr. Biggles

Hmmm, Ampersand? Yeah, just gave me an image of some corporate lunch room catered by that company that does movie sets or something. Or some downtown cafe filled with geeks on their laptops. Gonk, yeth, meet me and Cory down at Ampersand and we can chat on our laptops from 2 feet away. gonk.

Contigo. Wasn't a fan at first turn, rhymes with Stratego. But it seems to be creeping around nicely though. As though it means business, ain't no mussin' with a Contigo. Olallie is too playful, I wouldn't want to eat meat at a place called Olallie. If I ordered something braised at Contigo I'd know it was done right.




You probably have your mind made up already, but I figured I throw in the reasoning for my vote since the other comments seem to be going the other way. I liked Olallie best before, despite thinking that you should pick something new to reflect your recent change in outlook, because it was whimsical and fresh. Now, I like Ampersand best.

Contigo is just okay for me. I liked the word when I learned it in eighth grade Spanish class, but it just doesn't say "restaurant" to me. I don't think it adequately represents the cool Barcelona hangout feeling that you've been going for.

Ampersand has more of that whimsy, and I can see the name standing out while also fitting in well in Noe Valley. I love having occasion to use the symbol, and I can only imagine the fun you'd have picking the "&" in the right font for your advertising. (I'm not sure how you'd advertise Contigo graphically.) Ampersand has style to me; Contigo is more generic.

Having said all of that, I'm looking forward to the big reveal. And I will gladly walk up the hill from the Mission to eat at your restaurant often, no matter its name. (Assuming I can resist the temptation of Hamano Sushi...)


You know, the possible geek connection for Ampersand may not be a bad thing. Noe Valley was a popular place to live in the dot.com days, so it may give Ampersand a better connection to the neighborhood than its competitor. Just a thought.


I am the biggest fan of the ampersand that there is (no accident that the title of both my blog and my eventual book have apersands in them). That said, I'm all for Contigo here. I didn't know what the word meant the first time I heard it (I studied German and Japanese, never Spanish) but I love the romantic feel of it and it has forward motion--actually made me think of the concept of going forward, which is wonderful and apt.

When I hear Contigo I imagine good lighting and a cool vibe. With Ampersand I just imagine a cool sign, but it has no romance (I hate to say it) or atmosphere to lift it up. It's a quirky and fun but cold and flat word. Contigo, on the other hand, has depth and warmth.

That said, I'm eating there regardless:-)


One of the guys in my office says "Contigo sounds like some sort of auto-immune disorder" :D

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