I'll begin with a confession...I usually don't do "name my business"
questions, because they're so utterly subjective, that one can never
know if the names will be pleasing or repellent to the client who
asked for them.
But I'm making an exception in this case because I am a New Yorker
born and bred (a Brooklyn boy, actually) and I not only have a special
place in my heart for New York, but that place has its own special
place for NYC restaurants, and even for wanna-be NY restaurants.
So...my list of possible names is below, along with some things you
may wish to think about a bit in making your final decision.
As with all Google Answers questions, the answer is not final until
you are fully satisfied that you have everything you need. So if my
suggestions don't do the trick, for any reason, please don't rate the
answer until you've first gotten back to me. Just post a Request for
Clarification to let me know what you think, and I'll be happy to
continue working on the answer.
Best of luck with your venture. Whatever name you eventually choose,
hope I'll have a chance to visit one day.
Let's start with your working title, "Manhatten Cafe".
First thing to note is that it's 'Manhattan' ... ending in 'an', not 'en'.
Secondly, the name's not bad. Not bad at all. When New Yorkers say
they're going to "the city", they mean Manhattan. The two terms are
pretty much synonymous. Even though Brooklyn, Queens etc are formally
part of the City of New York, when someone says "the city", everyone
understands that to mean Manhattan. So your working title captures a
good part of the essence of NYC.
As for "Cafe", that works well, too. It evokes an image of a
comfortable and stylish but not too snooty sort of an eating
But I want to put some other possibilities on the table. New York
City eateries come in a variety of flavors. On the informal,
come-and-grab-a-sandwich side of things are cafes, diners, 'bar and
grill' (only if you're planning on a bar), and delicatessens (more
commonly known as delis, as you've already noted). Though these used
to be fairly distinctive types of establishements, the distinctions
have faded into one another over the years. The description you
provided immediately brought to mind a NYC deli -- emphasis on
overstuffed sandwiches, ethnic identity (or identities, as the case
may be), and a varied menu, so you may want to consider working that
into your name. However, 'diner' and 'cafe' could work just as well,
as would 'grill' or 'bar and grill', and its more a matter of how
things sound to your ear, than any adherence to particular sort of
So consider names along the lines of:
Manhattan Bar and Grill
A New York-style deli
Of those four, just calling your restaurant "Manhattan" (with or
without the sub-title) has a lot to say for it...you can even style
the typeface for the name to resemble the NYC skyline, perhaps with
the Empire State Building as the first letter 'A' in Manhattan.
You can also reverse things. I think:
has a good ring to it.
New York City is also known worldwide by its nickname, The Big Apple,
which could also serve as a stand-alone name for your restaurant, or
you could make it:
The Big Apple Diner
(I don't really like the sound of either deli or cafe with the Big Apple name).
I know you don't want to get too local, but there are certainly some
place names that invoke the essence of Manhattan and shouldn't be
42nd Street Diner
Broadway Bar and Grill
Times Square Deli
Brooklyn Bridge Cafe
(or just 'Brooklyn Bridge')
Broadway & 42nd Street
and there are also some names which -- don't ask me why -- are just
Joe's Bar and Grill
(this is a famous NYC pizza shop, but the name works for other types
of restaurants as well)
Schneider's Deli (if you're looking for a bit of an ethnic flavor)
Other possibilities are NYC's formal name -- also the refrain of its
New York, New York
or simply use its universally recognized initials as a name:
or an old fashioned NY name, with a sports link:
or anything with 'skyline':
I'm going to halt the list here...for the moment. I could go on, but
before doing so, I think it makes sense to give you a chance to look
these over, and see if anything makes a light bulb go off for you, or
alternatively, if the list is so unappealing that you're feeling a bit
ill right now!
Whatever your reaction, please remember my suggestion, above -- just
post a Request for Clarification to let me know what you think, and
what else you might need, and I'll be happy to oblige.
All the best,
search strategy -- reflections of my boyhood, and many happy dining
experiences in cafes, delis, diners, and chino-latino, mulit-culti,
tex-mex, and innumerable other assortments of NYC restaurants.