Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken Could Have Been . . . Tastes Good, Donut?
Says co-owner Jeff Halpern: “The play on words seemed funny for about three minutes. After that, it seemed like a mouthful.” Other possibilities included Backy’s House of Doughnuts (“We joked with Washington Capitals center Nick Backstrom that if he invested in the company, we would name it after him”) and Mmmm Donuts as a tribute to Homer Simpson.
The Fainting Goat Could Have Been . . . Scotch & Sofa
“The building was an old furniture shop,” co-owner Greg Algie says. Still, the story behind the real name is better: “My friends gave me the nickname the Fainting Goat. I would go out and start talking to a woman, but as soon as the conversation hit a lull, I’d get shy and freeze up like a fainting goat.”
Toki Underground Could Have Been . . . Isho
“It’s the sound my grandmother would mutter every time she was flustered with me,” says chef/owner Erik Bruner-Yang.
Seasonal Pantry Could Have Been . . . Jarred
“It had to do with preserving—that was the ultimate idea,” chef/owner Dan O’Brien says. On ditching it: “Would you want to eat at a restaurant called Jarred?”
This article appears in our August 2015 issue of Washingtonian.