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11 of the Best Bar Names in the World

Kit Jenkin
21 Jul 2021

Choosing a name for your bar is one of the most important business decisions you can make. Just like picking a name for a restaurant, a bar’s name has to stand out in the mind of your customers.

When choosing a name for your bar, there are lots of different directions you can go. Some take inspiration from their neighbourhood or local area, playing on the character and vibe of a particular place. Others might base the name of their bar on a specialty they serve, like beer or cocktails. Or others might use something personal of the owners as a signature, like a name or a story from their past. 

No matter how you decide to name your bar, that name has to stick in people’s minds. If you’re about to open a bar and you’re struggling to come up with a name, here are some of the best names from some of the best bars in the world to give you a little bit of inspiration. 

1. Aesop’s Tables - Peterborough, NH

Located in the heart of downtown Peterborough, New Hampshire, this combination restaurant, bar, and cafe serves lots of different types of food and drinks [1]. The establishment gets its name from Aesop’s Fables, a collection of fables and parables from ancient Greece told by Aesop, the mysterious storyteller. What makes this bar name memorable is that it takes a commonly known phrase and puts its own little twist on it to show the establishment’s personality. 

2. Ministry of Brewing - Baltimore, MD

This bar and restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, is built in the remnants of St Michael’s Church, a centre for the local community [2]. The word “ministry” holds most of the meaning for this bar’s reputation, as the owners honour the location’s religious and charitable past by offering educational courses in brewing and conducting community outreach. They also undertake lots of fundraising for local schools. Who thought going to a bar could make you feel that good inside?

3. Hunky Dory, Brooklyn, NY

This bar and eatery in New York’s trendy borough of Brooklyn was recently featured in New York Magazine among some of the best bars in the city [3]. The bar is homey and vaguely psychedelic, with the decor, food, and drinks injected with the same amount of whimsy its name implies. “Hunky dory”, a phrase that denotes that everything is a-okay, has a retro, 1950s impishness that the restaurant does its best to live up to. 

4. Cane & Grain - Manchester, UK

This popular bar in Manchester, UK, is well-known among the city’s students and hipsters.  Cane & Grain has become a staple of the Northern Quarter, a hip and dynamic area in the city centre filled with independent bars, pubs, restaurants, boutiques, and shops [4]. The bar’s name is memorable for its simplicity, its rhythm and rhyme, and its nod to late 80s skate culture. Sometimes, you don’t need a fancy name - simple and straightforward is often best. 

5. Original Sin - London, UK

What could tempt you into an establishment more than the name of this dark, brooding basement bar in Stoke Newington [5]? This name is memorable for its reference to that concept of Catholic doctrine - it entices customers with low prices, a cozy atmosphere, a grand selection of wines, and a killer charcuterie. Even though this bar has closed down, its name still carries weight in London’s cocktail and bar scene. 

6. The Milk Thistle - Bristol, UK

Bristol’s premier cocktail lounge has been delighting its guests for years [6]. Set amid some of the city’s most intriguing architecture, The Milk Thistle is known for its eccentric decor and classic cocktails. The bar takes its name from the purple and green flower common in northern climates, a flower whose prickliness is perhaps best reflected by the bar’s projected image as a place for the discerning cocktail drinker. 

7. The Meetings - Avoca, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

This gallery, bar, lounge, and events venue is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery you’re likely to find anywhere in the world [7]. The establishment sits at the convergence of the Avonmore and Avonberg rivers, a site known as the Meeting of the Waters. This bar’s name gives a sense of the many meetings that have taken place and will take place in the future, between people and water and earth and sky. There are many songs and poems written about the Meeting of the Waters by some of Ireland’s most famous singers and poets, including a very famous poem by Thomas Moore [8], so the name of the bar keeps with that long tradition. 

8. Blakes of the Hollow - Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland

One of the most famous Victorian pubs still standing in Ireland, Blakes of the Hollow has been serving the people of County Fermanagh for over 125 years [9]. The name “Blakes of the Hollow” actually refers to two different aspects of the establishment. Blake’s, a reference to the original owner, whose name is blazoned above the bar’s facade, was the original bar established in 1887. “The Hollow”, as it became known, was an adjoining section of the building that was bought and incorporated into Blake’s in 1929. This place is a great example of how bars can incorporate the history of their establishments into their chosen name. 

9. PrettyUgly - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This cozy, laid-back bar in the heart of downtown Toronto serves unique, house-made liqueurs and tinctures, and focuses on serving sustainable, seasonal ingredients with a “prettyugly” twist [10]. This name has a lot going on. There is tension between the two diametrically opposed concepts of “pretty” and “ugly”, but they are shoved together into one striking word. The idea of shoving two opposing concepts into close proximity is a wonderful reflection of the bar’s desire to mix lots of different styles of decor, ingredients, and ambience together to make a cohesive whole. 

10. ÔÔ - Brisbane, Australia

This bar, located in Brisbane, gets full marks for originality [11]. The choice of name is decidedly minimalist, catching people’s attention with two large accented O’s that look like two surprised eyes. While serving Japanese food and cocktails, this establishment has fully embraced its branding aesthetic. The name is a masterclass in naming innovation: you may not know how to say it, but you’ll certainly remember it. 

11. Lovebucket - Auckland, New Zealand

Located in the heart of downtown Auckland, Lovebucket hides among the nearby vintage shops, international restaurants, and nightclubs [12]. Specializing in sour and barrel-aged beers, Lovebucket’s name communicates a playful intimacy and boozy sloppiness that every good beer bar needs. With a name inspired by its specialty, Lovebucket has been serving Auckland for years. 

Keep your bar hopping with a dedicated EPOS

Here at Epos Now, we believe there’s only one business decision as important as choosing your bar’s name: your choice of a point of sale system. There is so much you can do with an Epos Now EPOS system to make your business more efficient and profitable. 

Keep you bar hopping with a dedicated Epos Now EPOS for your bar. You can:

  • Take online order with Epos Now Order & Pay
  • Train new staff quickly with user-friendly onboarding software
  • Create custom seating charts to match your bar’s floorplan
  • Offer free digital drink chips with a customer loyalty program
  • Add happy hour discounts or other specials with a single tap
  • Split and combine tabs and bills without frustration
  • Take drink orders with handheld devices

Contact Epos Now to learn more about our dedicated EPOS systems

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