Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The B Plot: The story behind the store names

The B Plot: The story behind the store names
The Coaster

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm and is filed under Arts & Entertainment, Features

Did you receive a ‘message gift’ this holiday - a present that says more about how the giver feels about you than could ever be put into words?

The message can be positive (a vacation says, “I care for you and want to spend more time with you”) or negative (a hair buzzer or toaster says, well, you got it). I know people in town who got both those gifts. Hmmm.

Naturally, negative message gifts never come from the great stores in our town, however cool, innovative business names do. I was curious about the genesis of some of the names and reached out to Asbury Park’s store owners.

“We opened our first store in Mendham, New Jersey in 1977,” stated Dennis Fishbach, founder. “The preparation for the opening had been going on for months and months. After another long day of arranging the store, my partner and I sat down for cocktails with our graphic designer, his sister. I asked her what the prettiest letters in the alphabet were. After that, it became a drunken Scrabble game to come up with something that made sense for the name of our store. The name and its font have withstood the test of time. Pereaux worked out so well, we named our real estate arm Pereaux Deux.”

Not that you asked, but Dennis gets my vote as absolutely the most warm, engaging man in this town. He has the gift to be able to talk with anyone and make the person feel comfortable.

Trillium Antiques
“The name Trillium represents the flower and my life,” explained Kathleen Banks, owner. “It has nothing to do with Battlestar Galactica, as some people think. We lived in Vermont in the 1980’s and our yard had Trillium all over. It’s my favorite flower and represents the luckiest and most perfect number – the number three. The flower itself has three leaves and three petals. When we moved back here I had to name my business Trillium Antiques.”

Restaurant Plan B
“When Luis and I were thinking about starting a new business, we knew we wanted to be in Asbury Park,” stated Jeffrey, owner. “I first wanted to open a bed and breakfast. We decided to open a restaurant, we were at a bar-b-que and everyone kept telling us what we should name the restaurant, but all the names were so basic or boring. Friends said ‘call it Jeffrey,’ or ‘call it my daughter’s name.’ Finally, I thought that since the restaurant was my second plan for Asbury Park, I would call it Restaurant Plan B.”

“I love Cher and when we saw the movie “Moonstruck” for the first time I thought it would be a great name for a restaurant some day,” stated Luke Magliaro, owner with Howard Raczkiewicz.
“Moonstruck was great for three reasons - it represented a combination of Italian American, just like our restaurant; the name had a city feel and, most importantly, it was romantic. When we moved to Asbury Park, the name was even more appropriate because you can sit on the balcony and see the moon sometimes.”

FYI, Moonstruck reopens on February 13 – just in time for a fabulous Valentine’s Day. Take your love of the moment early because Luke does not take reservations.
Esphera“Loosely translated, Esphera means ‘what goes around comes around’ in Spanish,” stated Ryan Sabatos, founder. “That philosophy is one which I live my life by and founded my business on.”

ReVision Theatre Company
“Tom, David and I brainstormed names for our theatre company for about one month,” stated Stephen Bishop Seely. “We came up with about 375 possible names, which included: Bad Neighbors Theatre Company, The Theatre Factory, The Good Fortune Company, Angels in Hell, Three’s Company and Above the Water Theatre. Because we were transforming our theatre company in New York City to a new theatre company in Asbury Park, we all agreed on ReVision. And the rest, as they say, is history.”

Cry Baby Art Gallery
“I am the type of girl that cries at anything,” stated Jennifer Graef, owner. “Good, bad, happy, sad – I cry. My tears come alive by artwork, too. If I like the artwork, I cry. Mid-2006, we were driving from an art opening in New York City. We were so excited that we were going to be opening our own gallery soon and began brainstorming gallery names. After tossing out a ton of names, we decided on Cry Baby because each piece in our gallery has such emotion.”

It’s cold out, but our businesses are hot stuff.

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