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Perception: Restaurant Names

Perception: Restaurant Names
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  • Post #91 - February 1st, 2011, 2:41 pm
    Post #91 - February 1st, 2011, 2:41 pm Post #91 - February 1st, 2011, 2:41 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    Rene G wrote:For delicatessens, I'm having a hard time coming up with anything other than Barnum & Bagel. What names did you have in mind?

    That was the one. :)

    Perhaps you were thinking of the sandwiches offered at some Chicago delis. D B Kaplan's* was known for their huge menu overstuffed with atrocious puns. Try as I might I'll never forget the Ike & Tina Tuna, the Francis Ford Capicola and many more.

    * D B Kaplan's Delicatessen opened in 1976 on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place and became Levy Restaurants' first place a couple years later. It closed in late 1994.
  • Post #92 - February 1st, 2011, 3:30 pm
    Post #92 - February 1st, 2011, 3:30 pm Post #92 - February 1st, 2011, 3:30 pm
    Rene G wrote:Perhaps you were thinking of the sandwiches offered at some Chicago delis. D B Kaplan's* was known for their huge menu overstuffed with atrocious puns. Try as I might I'll never forget the Ike & Tina Tuna, the Francis Ford Capicola and many more.

    * D B Kaplan's Delicatessen opened in 1976 on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place and became Levy Restaurants' first place a couple years later. It closed in late 1994.

    We used to go there all the time, after a movie at the Water Tower movie theater, back when the movie was on the top floor of Water Tower Place. Kaplan's was one floor down. Ah, those were the days.

    And yes, we loved it partly because of the atrocious puns, rather than in spite of them. Proving the Jewish deli exemption rule.

    A certain "price point" must mark the divide beyond which puns (in restaurant names or menu items) become a liability. Average meal $12 or less? Pun away. Charging $18 or more for an entree? Pun at your peril.
  • Post #93 - February 1st, 2011, 4:54 pm
    Post #93 - February 1st, 2011, 4:54 pm Post #93 - February 1st, 2011, 4:54 pm
    Rene G wrote:* D B Kaplan's Delicatessen opened in 1976 on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place and became Levy Restaurants' first place a couple years later. It closed in late 1994.

    IIRC, D B Kaplan's was a spin-off of Hemingway's Movable Feast, in Hemingway House at the corner of Clark, Wells and Lincoln. Were the Levy Brothers involved then?
  • Post #94 - February 2nd, 2011, 8:21 am
    Post #94 - February 2nd, 2011, 8:21 am Post #94 - February 2nd, 2011, 8:21 am
    nr706 wrote:
    Rene G wrote:* D B Kaplan's Delicatessen opened in 1976 on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place and became Levy Restaurants' first place a couple years later. It closed in late 1994.

    IIRC, D B Kaplan's was a spin-off of Hemingway's Movable Feast, in Hemingway House at the corner of Clark, Wells and Lincoln.

    And of course, that was another place that was puntastic, from the name of the place to the names of the 2500 sandwich combinations they offered. It had to be the same owners, you're right.

    We really enjoyed both places for the food as well as well as the humor quotient. As a small child, I had a wonderful recurring dream of swimming in a river of Pepsi. Being at Hemingway's or Kaplan's was like living in a forest of deli sandwiches, or something.
  • Post #95 - February 2nd, 2011, 8:26 pm
    Post #95 - February 2nd, 2011, 8:26 pm Post #95 - February 2nd, 2011, 8:26 pm
    nr706 wrote:
    Rene G wrote:* D B Kaplan's Delicatessen opened in 1976 on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place and became Levy Restaurants' first place a couple years later. It closed in late 1994.

    IIRC, D B Kaplan's was a spin-off of Hemingway's Movable Feast, in Hemingway House at the corner of Clark, Wells and Lincoln. Were the Levy Brothers involved then?

    No, the Levy brothers were never involved in Hemingway's as far as I know.

    Hemingway's Movable Feast was started by Don Kaplan and his friend Larry Berns in 1970 (or '71?) as a little upscale grocery store at 1825 N Lincoln. Early on, they offered a selection of over twenty carryout sandwiches. When Treasure Island opened a new store a couple blocks away in late 1972, Hemingway's grocery sales plummeted. They responded by emphasizing sandwiches and by 1974 they offered over 120 varieties. Many were named for skyscrapers (Big Stan, Sears Tower, Big John etc), local celebrities or had some tie-in with Ernest Hemingway. I don't recall an excess of menu puns and numerous contemporary newspaper articles don't mention them either (in contrast to later articles about D B Kaplan's).

    The success of Hemingway's allowed Don B(urton) Kaplan to open a new deli in the new Water Tower Place in December 1976. Half a year later he sold Hemingway's (to manager Michael Aspess) to focus on his new business. I'm not sure exactly when the Levys became involved but Mark Levy was definitely one of many partners in late 1977 (or early '78?) when D B Kaplan's opened a second restaurant in Minneapolis and had ambitious plans for further expansion. I don't know the details but less than a year later Don Kaplan was no longer associated with D B Kaplan's Delicatessen. Here's the story according to Levy Restaurants' website: "In 1978, brothers Larry and Mark Levy expanded beyond their real estate and insurance roots by investing in D B Kaplan’s Delicatessen in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. Six months later, the restaurant wasn’t performing to their high expectations – so with pride on the line, they rolled up their sleeves, brought in their mother Eadie to help with authentic family recipes, and jumped in as day-to-day restaurateurs. Levy Restaurants was born."

    I recall liking Hemingway's (especially sitting at the outdoor tables) back when Don Kaplan owned it. I ate at D B Kaplan's two or three times in the late '70s and didn't think it was nearly as good as the old place. Unfortunately by that time Hemingway's Movable Feast wasn't as good as it used to be either.

    riddlemay wrote:We used to go there all the time, after a movie at the Water Tower movie theater, back when the movie was on the top floor of Water Tower Place. Kaplan's was one floor down.

    I'm pretty sure the movie theaters were on the 2nd floor and D B Kaplan's was on the 7th.
  • Post #96 - February 3rd, 2011, 7:31 am
    Post #96 - February 3rd, 2011, 7:31 am Post #96 - February 3rd, 2011, 7:31 am
    Rene G wrote:I'm pretty sure the movie theaters were on the 2nd floor and D B Kaplan's was on the 7th.

    That sounds right.

    (Now setting "reminiscing mode" on hold, as memory is proving faultier than usual.)
  • Post #97 - February 3rd, 2011, 2:35 pm
    Post #97 - February 3rd, 2011, 2:35 pm Post #97 - February 3rd, 2011, 2:35 pm
    Rene G wrote:
    nr706 wrote:
    Rene G wrote:* D B Kaplan's Delicatessen opened in 1976 on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place and became Levy Restaurants' first place a couple years later. It closed in late 1994.

    IIRC, D B Kaplan's was a spin-off of Hemingway's Movable Feast, in Hemingway House at the corner of Clark, Wells and Lincoln. Were the Levy Brothers involved then?

    No, the Levy brothers were never involved in Hemingway's as far as I know.

    I continue to be astounded by Peter's research abilities.
  • Post #98 - February 3rd, 2011, 3:46 pm
    Post #98 - February 3rd, 2011, 3:46 pm Post #98 - February 3rd, 2011, 3:46 pm
    nr706 wrote:I continue to be astounded by Peter's research abilities.

    Me too. I stand before them humbly, which is one reason I'm not volunteering any more "memories"!
  • Post #99 - February 9th, 2012, 3:47 pm
    Post #99 - February 9th, 2012, 3:47 pm Post #99 - February 9th, 2012, 3:47 pm
    I know I'm coming late to the topic, but Hemingway's and Kaplan's menus were full of puns. I don't remember much, but I remember a decadent brownie dessert that was described as sort of a treasure hunt called The Last Time Ever I Saw My Waist. Both restaurants sold Haagen Dazs ice cream when that was a new thing, and the menus (at least at Hemingway's) were accordion fold and opened up to show an enormous sandwich up the middle with King Kong climbing it, a biplane circling, and other humorous touches.
  • Post #100 - May 12th, 2014, 4:03 pm
    Post #100 - May 12th, 2014, 4:03 pm Post #100 - May 12th, 2014, 4:03 pm
    TychaBrahe wrote:I know I'm coming late to the topic, but Hemingway's and Kaplan's menus were full of puns. I don't remember much, but I remember a decadent brownie dessert that was described as sort of a treasure hunt called The Last Time Ever I Saw My Waist. Both restaurants sold Haagen Dazs ice cream when that was a new thing, and the menus (at least at Hemingway's) were accordion fold and opened up to show an enormous sandwich up the middle with King Kong climbing it, a biplane circling, and other humorous touches.


    I miss humor in menus. The one place that comes to mind where silly menu fun can still be found is R.J. Grunt's.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #101 - May 12th, 2014, 8:53 pm
    Post #101 - May 12th, 2014, 8:53 pm Post #101 - May 12th, 2014, 8:53 pm
    Well, this has been interesting, rereading this thread. And as CharlotteBeth said in the Leopold thread, worth it just for the Pol Potsticker House.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #102 - May 13th, 2014, 10:45 am
    Post #102 - May 13th, 2014, 10:45 am Post #102 - May 13th, 2014, 10:45 am
    Oh WOW I remember DB Kaplans!
    Thank you so much for this lovely stroll in memory lane (sigh)
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #103 - May 13th, 2014, 10:51 am
    Post #103 - May 13th, 2014, 10:51 am Post #103 - May 13th, 2014, 10:51 am
    It has gotten to the point where the ampersand makes me irrationally angry
  • Post #104 - May 13th, 2014, 1:13 pm
    Post #104 - May 13th, 2014, 1:13 pm Post #104 - May 13th, 2014, 1:13 pm
    I will never enter a restaurant whose name contains a misplaced apostrophe.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #105 - May 13th, 2014, 1:24 pm
    Post #105 - May 13th, 2014, 1:24 pm Post #105 - May 13th, 2014, 1:24 pm
    AlekH wrote:It has gotten to the point where the ampersand makes me irrationally angry


    I used to think I was annoyed with overuse of ampersands in restaurant names, but then Bottlefork came along, and inclusion of an ampersand is the only way I can think to save it from complete nonsense.
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #106 - May 13th, 2014, 2:19 pm
    Post #106 - May 13th, 2014, 2:19 pm Post #106 - May 13th, 2014, 2:19 pm
    In the spirit of the origin of this thread, I find Evanston-based Temperance Beer Company naming a beer "Birdsong" incredibly insensitive.
  • Post #107 - May 13th, 2014, 3:42 pm
    Post #107 - May 13th, 2014, 3:42 pm Post #107 - May 13th, 2014, 3:42 pm
    Wow. I thought maybe they should be given the benefit of the doubt and I hoped that Temperance's site would show that the name is a respectful homage or that some of the proceeds go to an anti-hate speech charity or something. But the complete lack of any reference makes it seem like a clueless coincidence, at best. Someone must have said something to them by now, I'd imagine.
  • Post #108 - May 13th, 2014, 4:37 pm
    Post #108 - May 13th, 2014, 4:37 pm Post #108 - May 13th, 2014, 4:37 pm
    disagree wrote:In the spirit of the origin of this thread, I find Evanston-based Temperance Beer Company naming a beer "Birdsong" incredibly insensitive.


    Call me clueless, but what is the reference here?
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #109 - May 13th, 2014, 5:48 pm
    Post #109 - May 13th, 2014, 5:48 pm Post #109 - May 13th, 2014, 5:48 pm
    Ricky Byrdsong was the former head basketball coach at Northwestern; he was murdered by a white supremacist while jogging down the street near his home.
  • Post #110 - May 13th, 2014, 7:13 pm
    Post #110 - May 13th, 2014, 7:13 pm Post #110 - May 13th, 2014, 7:13 pm
    Teresa wrote:Call me clueless, but what is the reference here?

    It's an exceptionally big deal in Evanston.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Byrdsong
  • Post #111 - May 13th, 2014, 7:18 pm
    Post #111 - May 13th, 2014, 7:18 pm Post #111 - May 13th, 2014, 7:18 pm
    Just checked the website, and sure enough, there it is. Jaw-droppingly clueless, and deeply offensive to an awful lot of people (including me). This makes it even worse. From the website:

    "Josh Gilbert
    FOUNDER

    You may not think the journey from architect to brewery founder would be a straight line, but it made perfect sense to Josh. Tired of never-ending projects, real estate bubbles, and low pay, he traded in his blueprints for never-ending recipe conversations, intoxicating bubbles, and low pay. Josh dreamed of brewing his own beer since college but somehow never found the time (until the housing market made time). He enjoys life best when sharing what he enjoys best in life, whether seasonal mixtapes, charcuterie, mixed drinks, or now beer. And Evanston, the city where Josh grew up, was an ideal place to launch a new kind of Temperance Movement. Yes, one with beer."

    This was no accident. Gaah!
  • Post #112 - May 13th, 2014, 7:44 pm
    Post #112 - May 13th, 2014, 7:44 pm Post #112 - May 13th, 2014, 7:44 pm
    Birdsong, with an i, not a y, is a Grateful Dead tune. I thought that was the reference.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #113 - May 13th, 2014, 7:56 pm
    Post #113 - May 13th, 2014, 7:56 pm Post #113 - May 13th, 2014, 7:56 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Birdsong, with an i, not a y, is a Grateful Dead tune. I thought that was the reference.

    =R=
    Or maybe they are referencing how much they like to hear birds sing? It doesn't matter. The problem is they named a beer Birdsong in a community in which it is a homophone of a word with power and legacy, Byrdsong.
  • Post #114 - May 13th, 2014, 7:58 pm
    Post #114 - May 13th, 2014, 7:58 pm Post #114 - May 13th, 2014, 7:58 pm
    disagree wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Birdsong, with an i, not a y, is a Grateful Dead tune. I thought that was the reference.

    =R=
    Or maybe they are referencing how much they like to hear birds sing? It doesn't matter. The problem is they named a beer Birdsong in a community in which it is a homophone of a word with power and legacy, Byrdsong.

    Or maybe it's an homage to the late Mr. Byrdsong. In any case, I think you're really reaching on this one but at least you're in line with the title of the thread: perception.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #115 - May 13th, 2014, 8:05 pm
    Post #115 - May 13th, 2014, 8:05 pm Post #115 - May 13th, 2014, 8:05 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    disagree wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Birdsong, with an i, not a y, is a Grateful Dead tune. I thought that was the reference.

    =R=
    Or maybe they are referencing how much they like to hear birds sing? It doesn't matter. The problem is they named a beer Birdsong in a community in which it is a homophone of a word with power and legacy, Byrdsong.

    Or maybe it's an homage to the late Mr. Byrdsong. In any case, I think you're really reaching on this one but at least you're in line with the title of the thread: perception.

    =R=
    At least I'm not alone, I guess. At any rate, I don't see how it's a reach to say that someone gave a beer a name that evokes something that they might not have intended.

    By the way, do you know the brewers or investors?
  • Post #116 - May 13th, 2014, 9:35 pm
    Post #116 - May 13th, 2014, 9:35 pm Post #116 - May 13th, 2014, 9:35 pm
    disagree wrote:At least I'm not alone, I guess. At any rate, I don't see how it's a reach to say that someone gave a beer a name that evokes something that they might not have intended.

    By the way, do you know the brewers or investors?

    No. I don't know anyone involved in the project.

    I think it's a reach to be offended by it. I can understand how the name might touch a nerve with some people but my guess is that more people who frequent this place and drink these beers would associate it with the tune than the coach, especially given the spelling.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #117 - May 13th, 2014, 9:41 pm
    Post #117 - May 13th, 2014, 9:41 pm Post #117 - May 13th, 2014, 9:41 pm
    I know Josh. I may stop by tomorrow and ask him about it. Or I may not.
  • Post #118 - May 13th, 2014, 9:48 pm
    Post #118 - May 13th, 2014, 9:48 pm Post #118 - May 13th, 2014, 9:48 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    disagree wrote:At least I'm not alone, I guess. At any rate, I don't see how it's a reach to say that someone gave a beer a name that evokes something that they might not have intended.

    By the way, do you know the brewers or investors?

    No. I don't know anyone involved in the project.

    I think it's a reach to be offended by it. I can understand how the name might touch a nerve with some people but my guess is that more people who frequent this place and drink these beers would associate it with the tune than the coach, especially given the spelling.

    =R=
    Have they given you any freebies? It's big of you to understand how this could be offensive. And I similarly want to understand how you cannot be offended. I'm running out of reasons, unless it really just is old hippies really know their Dead songs. (I'd never heard of the Dead song, but I don't feel strongly about taking a guess. I don't know how many other old hippies frequent LTH. A lot?)

    Three people here immediately saw what I saw. I don't know if they drink beer, though. I do. And I live in Evanston. And I remember when it happened, and I think it is offensive and I am now less likely to choose a TBC beer when given a choice.

    The Doors of perception, maaaaaaaannnn.
  • Post #119 - May 13th, 2014, 9:58 pm
    Post #119 - May 13th, 2014, 9:58 pm Post #119 - May 13th, 2014, 9:58 pm
    disagree wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    disagree wrote:At least I'm not alone, I guess. At any rate, I don't see how it's a reach to say that someone gave a beer a name that evokes something that they might not have intended.

    By the way, do you know the brewers or investors?

    No. I don't know anyone involved in the project.

    I think it's a reach to be offended by it. I can understand how the name might touch a nerve with some people but my guess is that more people who frequent this place and drink these beers would associate it with the tune than the coach, especially given the spelling.

    =R=
    Have they given you any freebies? It's big of you to understand how this could be offensive. And I similarly want to understand how you cannot be offended. I'm running out of reasons, unless it really just is old hippies really know their Dead songs. (I'd never heard of the Dead song, but I don't feel strongly about taking a guess. I don't know how many other old hippies frequent LTH. A lot?)

    Three people here immediately saw what I saw. I don't know if they drink beer, though. I do. And I live in Evanston. And I remember when it happened, and I think it is offensive and I am now less likely to choose a TBC beer when given a choice.

    The Doors of perception, maaaaaaaannnn.


    Speaking of being offensive . . .
  • Post #120 - May 13th, 2014, 10:02 pm
    Post #120 - May 13th, 2014, 10:02 pm Post #120 - May 13th, 2014, 10:02 pm
    disagree wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    disagree wrote:At least I'm not alone, I guess. At any rate, I don't see how it's a reach to say that someone gave a beer a name that evokes something that they might not have intended.

    By the way, do you know the brewers or investors?

    No. I don't know anyone involved in the project.

    I think it's a reach to be offended by it. I can understand how the name might touch a nerve with some people but my guess is that more people who frequent this place and drink these beers would associate it with the tune than the coach, especially given the spelling.

    =R=
    Have they given you any freebies? It's big of you to understand how this could be offensive. And I similarly want to understand how you cannot be offended. I'm running out of reasons, unless it really just is old hippies really know their Dead songs. (I'd never heard of the Dead song, but I don't feel strongly about taking a guess. I don't know how many other old hippies frequent LTH. A lot?)

    Three people here immediately saw what I saw. I don't know if they drink beer, though. I do. And I live in Evanston. And I remember when it happened, and I think it is offensive and I am now less likely to choose a TBC beer when given a choice.

    The Doors of perception, maaaaaaaannnn.

    I'm not offended because it never occurred to me to be offended. As a former Evanston resident (1988-1996) and a former season ticket holder to N.U. Men's Basketball games -- and a Deadhead for the past 30+ years-- Byrdsong and Birdsong are 2 very different things to me. I never even associated the two.

    My opinion is my own and wasn't swayed by a free beer. I've never even been to Temperance Brewing and have no horse in this race (though, I did have one of their beers once). I just hate when overly sensitive people go out of their to be offended by something. It's political correctness run amok.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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