Toma Nota

Meet the stories behind the name of an establishment

When you create something, write a book, film a movie or open an establishment, it will always have a personality and also a name. And when you choose it, usually it has a background or a relevant reason. However, we never think about the stories behind that name. That’s why, we think it’s worth it to ask – when in an establishment – “why did you pick this name?” Here we show you some of the stories that we enjoy the most.

1. Bar La Gloria. Calle Noviciado, 2.

Sol, the nice woman owner of this establishment, is always smiling. Happy, careful, talkative, from Cordoba (Spain) as well as her grandmother Gloria. This place, with amazing Andalusian tapas, pays homage to this great woman that was an Alzheimer victim the last years of her life. A few months ago, she passed away without the lucidity enough to see what her granddaughter had achieved. But all the clients think that this amazing woman would be proud of her. Gloria’s face puts the elegant style in the establishment: stolen photos with her husband on their first date, looking into the camera, smiling,… She looks like a star in the sky. She illuminates the life of Sol and her family in such a way that Sol had to name her establishment after her – plus her cuisine tastes like glory.

2. Juan Raro. Calle Miguel Servet 7.

This tavern / bar / cafeteria  was opened in 2014 in Lavapiés neighbourhood, Madrid, in 2014. It is named after the novel of Olaf Stapledon– a British writer of the 20th century, well known for his sci-fi books. For Juan Manuel and Chema Claudio, partners and owners, the name of Juan Raro summarises really good the concept of their cuisine and establishment: ‘Juan’ brings the traditional and ‘Raro’ (weird) the alternative, change and evolution concepts. When you enter into this establishment, you feel like you are in a place where you can have a coffee, have lunch with your friends, drink a beer or just read a book. They define their place like versatile – a place where you can be raro (weird) but doesn’t feel like one.

3. Mi madre era una groupie. (My mum was a groupie). Calle Santa Polonia, 5.

It’s not strange at all that the best ideas come when we are with our friends, with some drinks in our hands. This name idea comes that way, specifically one night at the Sideral – a bar in Malasaña, owned by the same owners – every night was like a rock experience. They grew up until they become DJs and music lovers. So, between beers and smiles, they thought that their mother could be perfectly a groupie – because they were raised in Madrid Rock scene and in those ‘movida’ times. So they thought that the past – or whatever the past could have been – should be in the name of a bar. Thus, every night that you end up in this establishment you will feel like, in other times, your mother could be dancing there and sweating like you are doing these days.

4. Moncholi Restaurant. Calle Ibiza 52.

Carlos and Juan, friends since forever, always called each other ‘Moncholito’, ‘Moncho’, ‘Moncholi’… It was such a familiar thing that even one of them named her dog after that nickname. And the joke continued, even their wives were called ‘Moncholas’. So, when they wanted an establishment that reflected their personality and their friendship that they have kept for years, the name was clear. With their cuisine and decoration they wanted to transmit that moment when you are with your friends, you forget about everything else, and you just smile and keep this moment forever in your mind. So, as they say, every one of their clients end up being a ‘Moncholi’.

5. Lambuzo. Calle de las Conchas, 9 / Calle Ponzano, 8.

This family from Cadiz moved to Madrid in order to create this modern tavern specialized in Andalusian cuisine. After a long and big brainstorming – they wanted to use local products – they thought about plate names, products, etc. and suddenly the name ‘Lambuzo’ came into their minds. At Villamartin, a little village in Cadiz province where they came from, it has a superstitious power to call anyone ‘Lambuzo’. They define this term as ‘someone who eat without any knowledge’. But this term reminds them to grandpa Luis and uncle Curro – both ‘lambuzos’ of the family – and they cannot take the nickname out of their heads. Plus, this term summarizes the local idea: Cadiz, good cuisine and an authentic gastronomy. That’s what you will find in their two establishments – Calle de las Conchas and Calle Ponzano. It seems that, suddenly, you have a new family from Cadiz, and that you will find yourself at home there, eating like if your grandma was cooking there. Although you maybe cannot understand the language…

6. Los Chuchis. Calle Amparo, 82.

Paloma and Fernando say that the name of their establishment hasn’t a special background, but it reflects the friendship that they have been enjoying since college. They have always called each other ‘chuchis’ – they explain this term as this feeling when you see a friend in a very hard time and you know that he or she needs a hug and a nice talk. They add Londoner Scott to their team in November 2012 – a restaurant manager that wanted to come to live in Spain – and they created this nice bar in Lavapies neighbourhood. Traditional cuisine, unpretentious and, as they say, anglo- Mediterranean. A place that embraces you with so much kindness and an amazing honesty.