How do you stand out from the crowd in an oversaturated industry? Well, if you’re one of these restaurant owners, you choose the weirdest name you can think of.
Australians are known for our sense of humour, laid back nature, and fantastic restaurants. Some business owners in Australia boost their publicity and customer base by choosing a funny, punny, or downright strange name that takes their restaurant from just another place to eat to something much more.
Choosing an unusual name for a restaurant can be an excellent idea. It gets people’s attention, tells a story and sends a message about the atmosphere of your restaurant, and probably garners some attention from the media and puts your restaurant on the map.
On the other hand, a weird, niche name could be your downfall. The name could turn away customers who don’t get the joke or find it offensive or outdated. It may attract attention, but not always good attention, and an out-there name may compromise the longevity of your business.
Naming a restaurant can be a bit of a gamble. But we can all agree that a weird, whimsical, wacky name will make your restaurant stand out, for better or for worse. Australia is full of amazing places to eat and business owners want to beat out some of the competition, especially in big crowded cities full of options and variety.
Some business owners have found a way to walk the thin line between bad weird and good weird. Others have gone a little too extreme or offensive and it resulted in the closure of their business. Either way, they’ve provided some entertainment for us. Here are some of the most peculiar, clever, eye-catching restaurant names from all around Australia.
Naked for Satan
This Fitzroy restaurant may have an edgy name, but as it turns out, there is actual history behind the name, dating back to the 1920s. This is an example of a weird name that wasn’t just made up for laughs and attention but with respect to the history of Fitzroy. The look on your nans face when you tell her you’re going to Naked for Satan is just an added bonus.
Dingo Ate My Taco
This authentic, affordable street food truck has a risky name that appeared to pay off. Dingo Ate My Taco garners long lines wherever it parks in Melbourne, despite the negative associations with the name.
Name a better way to end a night out than enjoying some massive wieners with friends. This Prahran restaurant name isn’t clouded with euphemisms or code words, it tells you exactly what it is- massive wieners, also known as foot long hotdogs. We appreciate the honesty, and we’ll take a massive wiener to go, please.
A Salt & Battery
This Brisbane restaurant smacks you over the head with its excellent Fish and Chips.
Those who are unfamiliar with the Vietnamese communist dictator may think that this name is harmless, if a little funny. As the restaurant owners soon found out, naming your restaurant after Ho Chi Minh will inevitably lead to the Vietnamese community of Brisbane protesting against your establishment. A swift name change wasn’t enough to save this restaurant. Uncle Ho is no longer operating and, unlike its namesake, its corpse is not on display in a museum.
While gastro may be the last thing you want to think about when eating, the name did not appear to do much harm for this NSW restaurant. This is a feat that could not have been accomplished by a lesser establishment, but Gastro Park made up for their sickly name by providing excellent food and service. They received consistently good reviews and even a few rewards.
The name remains a bit of a mystery because such an excellent eatery could have been arguably more successful without the association with gastro. But it doesn’t matter now, because Gastro Park sadly closed its doors.
The Middle Feast
We’ll give you 3 guesses as to what kind of cuisine this Merrylands restaurant serves. Give up? It’s Middle Eastern! Surprised?
Another harmless and not particularly shocking pun name that will give your great aunty a giggle but not likely to result in any news headlines, unlike some other unfortunate restaurants.
Can you think of a name better suited to a Latin American restaurant that serves cocktails? This Paddington restaurant has another harmless pun name that snatches the attention of both bibliophiles and those who enjoy an alcoholic beverage.
Yes, this Queensland restaurant existed in the 21st century and not in the 1980s- and the Italian owners were immensely proud of their name, as were their local community. The name itself doesn’t raise as many eyebrows as its slogan: Justa Lika Mammas.
This seemingly innocent Brisbane sushi and ramen bar name is funny and cute until you say it out loud and feel like a racist. Unfortunately, this place has now closed down.
Flick N Beans
This Bowen Hills cafe made itself stand out from the crowd while letting customers know it would leave them satisfied. It’s not necessarily the place you’d meet up with your parents for brunch, because you wouldn’t be able to say it out loud without blushing, but don’t be deceived. This is a totally family-friendly establishment, serving all the traditional cafe dishes.
British Colonial Co
If you ever think you aren’t informed enough about politics and current issues, just know that someone opened this QLD restaurant in 2016. No, you didn’t read that wrong. And the name isn’t the most shocking thing about this place. It was this:
“Inspired by the stylish days of the empirical push into the developing cultures of the world.”
Yes. Someone typed that. And published it. The restaurant owners seemingly refused to address the controversy and allegedly deleted comments and reviews, which may have been part of what led to its closure.
Prunella and the Priapic Prawn
This establishment most likely closed in the 1980s, so very little information is left of it online. We can only fantasize about what this whimsical place was like. The name alone makes you smile.
This charming and elegant cafe chain has been operating for a long time now, so the association with shingles hasn’t hurt their reputation too badly. Considering how classy this place is, we assume the name didn’t come from the large numbers of people who caught herpes zoster in their bathrooms.
The Pie Minister
The ultimate dad joke was brought to life in Pakenham. The Pie Minister had loads of potential, but the owners changed the name to a less controversial dad joke: Pie and Mighty.
The owners of this Surry Hills fish and chip shop saw the ultimate joke opportunity and took it.
The Cod Father
This elaborately named restaurant is actually just a nostalgic throwback to classic cheap and cheerful Aussie takeaway shops. Now that’s an offer we can’t refuse!
Fu King Chinese Restaurant
If you just want some Fu King chinese food, look no further than Fu King Chinese Restaurant in Chelsea. At least, that’s what you would have done before it closed down. Even the most sensible teenager- and doubtless a few adults- wouldn’t be able to resist that prank call.
This Indian restaurant in Chinatown is renowned for its authentic Indian cuisine, enjoyed by Gaylords from all over who travel to sample their reputable food.
Before sinking, this NSW restaurant sold super hot curries, so, like its namesake movie, it had the power to make your dad cry. A few other establishments have since borrowed the name, so you can sail on an ocean of flavour in a number of Thai Tanic restaurants.
Wat Da Pho
Wat Da Pho were these Melbourne restauranteers thinking when they chose this name? Probably that it would help them stand out from the crowd in a city of great restaurants. And they were right.
This party girl is open late in Fitzroy and you can take your dad’s new girlfriend there seven days a week.
LadyBoy Dining and Bar
This funky and vibrant Thai restaurant in Richmond has a dedicated following, so the unique name hasn’t damaged their business. They serve excellent cocktails and an opportunity for some awkward questions when you google Ladyboys on your work computer.
Lord of the Fries
Lord of the Fries has garnered something like religious worship from the plant-based community. This fast food chain, serving exclusively plant-based food and drink, has a name that is just weird enough to be memorable without being offensive or hard to spell or pronounce.