On the Line / Operations / How to Choose a Bar Name + 51 Bar Name Ideas to Inspire You

How to Choose a Bar Name + 51 Bar Name Ideas to Inspire You

Want to open a bar? One of the first steps — and one of the most fun! — is naming your bar. Here's how to brainstorm a list of bar names and choose the one that's best for your business.

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Bar names

DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You are responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.

Bar Name Ideas

Decided to finally follow your lifelong dream of opening a bar, dreamed up over years of patronizing your favorite dives, pubs, and cocktail bars?

You’re gonna need a great bar name. 

There’s a lot that goes into brainstorming a bar name, and it’s important to put in the work now so you can use the name as the foundation of your bar’s branding. After all, the name will be everywhere: your storefront, your social media accounts, your napkins (if you so choose), and hopefully, on your potential customers’ minds.

With all that in mind, here are some tips to get you started on the path to discovering the right restaurant name for your new spot.

How Do I Choose a Bar Name?

Here's a brief overview of how to choose a bar name or start gathering ideas. 

  • Write down your bar’s mission, vision, purpose, and core values. 

  • Use a restaurant name generator to spark new ideas. 

  • Ask your community for restaurant name ideas.

  • Be descriptive and use your location.

We'll go into more detail about each of those steps below.

What are good bar names?

Your bar name should be memorable and recognizable, encompassing your whole vibe and your bar’s offerings in just a couple of words. You might want it to have some local flair, or maybe you want to pay homage to your favorite pop culture moment. Maybe you want to name your bar after your favorite drink, or after a family member who makes the best hot toddies. Whatever route you choose, make sure it's easy to spell and easy to remember — you'll want to be as googleable as possible. 

1. Write down your bar’s mission, vision, purpose, and core values. 

Your bar's core values and mission statement can and should play a role in choosing the right name, but there's other elements that can also help you paint a picture of your business in just a few words. Grab a pen and paper and write down the following:

  • The type of drinks or food you’ll be offering (Beer? Cocktails? Wine? Peanuts in a bowl? Be specific.) 

  • Your bar’s core values

  • The intended personality and vibe of your bar 

  • Adjectives you’d use to describe your bar (Cozy? Elegant? Welcoming? Loud?)

  • Your name (and the name of your business partners, if any) 

  • Any family names that are important to you

  • The neighborhood or town where it will be located

These steps should help you identify words and phrases that describe your bar and could make sense to include in your restaurant’s name. This list will also come in handy when building out your bar business plan

When you can’t think of anything else to add, read back over your list of superlatives, adjectives, and descriptors and circle your favorites. These will be the building blocks of your bar name.

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2. Choose a name that isn’t already taken

To avoid stepping on any toes, and to avoid copyright infringement, make sure your name is completely unique. Once you've settled on a handful of contenders, run these possible names through some search engines and the following resources:

  • Google search 
  • Google My Business

  • The Yellow Pages 

  • The Better Business Bureau

  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark database search

To learn more about copyright, head to Copyright.gov.

3. Use a restaurant and bar name generator to spark new ideas. 

Here's five name generators for you to play around with. Some ask for guidance in the form of keywords (have your key word shortlist hand), while others just assemble random combinations of words. While many of the suggested names and combinations you get from this step won't work, it'll help you narrow down what kind of name you are (and aren’t) looking for. 

Restaurant and Bar Name Generators

4. Ask your community for bar name ideas

Reach out to your community with ideas. You can tell friends and family about your concept (your elevator pitch will be handy here!) and ask them what they think it should be called, or you can take to social media and share a couple of your shortlisted options and ask your community to vote on which name they like best. You can use your personal account here, since you likely won't have a social media page built for your business if you haven't chosen a name yet. 

You can also offer future discounts or raffle off a free appetizer on opening day to all the people who help you with this task — or name a drink after the one who comes up with the name you end up choosing. 

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51 Cool Bar Name Ideas to Inspire You

It can also be helpful to get some inspiration from existing bars. We've compiled a list of 51 bars with memorable names that convey their vibe, offerings, or both perfectly. 

Unique Bar Names

1. Seanachai – Johns Island, SC

2. Trick Pony – Dallas, TX

3. Midnight Rambler – Dallas, TX

4. Way Out – Chicago, IL

5. Forget Me Not – Denver, CO

6. Dusk – Chicago, IL

7. The Crown & Anchor – New Orleans, LA 

8. Unicorn – Seattle, WA 

9. Lady Jane – Denver, CO

10. The Honey Well – New York, NY

11. Honey Elixir Bar – Denver, CO

12. Fool’s Errand – Boston, MA 

13. Monkey’s Tail – Houston, TX

14. Thunderbolt – Los Angeles, CA

15. Kermit's Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge – New Orleans, LA 

16. The Mermaid – Los Angeles, CA

17. Trina's Starlite Lounge – Somerville, MA

18. The Cozy Nut Tavern – Seattle, WA 

Clever Bar Names

19. Better Half Coffee & Cocktails – Austin, TX

20. Proof Bar – Charleston, SC

21. The Gin Joint – Charleston, SC

22. Nights & Weekends – Chicago, IL

23. Cure – New Orleans, LA 

Rhyming + Alliterative Bar Names

24. He’s Not Here Bar — Chapel Hill, NC

25. Stems and Skins – Charleston, SC

26. Lost Lake – Chicago, IL

27. Lakewood Landing – Dallas, TX

28. Katana Kitten – New York, NY

29. Amor y Amargo – New York, NY

30. Death & Co Denver – Denver, CO

31. Big Bar – Los Angeles, CA

32. Rebel Rebel – Somerville, MA

33. Tiki Ti – Los Angeles, CA

34. Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA

35. Haley.Henry – Boston, MA 

36. Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 – New Orleans, LA 

37. Bob & Barbara's Cocktail Lounge – Philadelphia, PA 

Funny Bar Names

38. Santa Baby Bar – Chicago, IL

39. Rapscallion – Dallas, TX

40. Tiny Victories – Dallas, TX

41. Friday Saturday Sunday – Philadelphia, PA 

42. The L – Denver, CO

43. Death & Company – New York, NY

44. Tattooed Mom – Philadelphia, PA 

45. Attaboy – New York, NY

46. Hop Sing Laundromat – Philadelphia, PA 

47. The Toasted Coconut – Houston, TX 

48. Drink – Boston, MA 

49. The SOS Tiki Bar – Decatur, GA 

50. Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium – Atlanta, GA 

51. Thirsty and Miserable – Toronto, ON

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