From a bar called Tequila Mockingbird to a restaurant called Lord of the Fries, here are 11 businesses that weren’t afraid to name themselves after fantastic literature puns.
There’s something awkwardly elegant about paying tribute to great writing via one of the most reviled forms of writing.
As I’ve said many times before, I don’t fully agree with the reputation of puns. I think a good pun is a sign of brilliance, not hackiness. (See: The original run of Arrested Development. Don’t see: The original run of The Rosie O’Donnell Show.)
I compiled this list of 11 real stores and businesses that are named after literary puns — and filled it with far too many puns of my own. Demerits go out to the world since I couldn’t find a photo of a bakery called The Bun Also Rises, a kitchen service shop called The Brothers Karamazoven Repair, or a dog groomer called The Hound and the Furry.
1 | Hurry Cutter – The Barbershop
“Hurry Cutter” is a little more of a stretch from “Harry Potter” than I’d normally like, but I *do* appreciate the unabashed usage of the famous Harry Potter font. If this place didn’t look like it was a little shack located somewhere like Ogbomosho, Nigeria, I’m sure a whole swarm of lawyers would apperate over there to file ceast-and-desists.
2 | The Hearty Boys
I would be so very impressed if this restaurant had menu items like “The Secret of the Turkey Club” and “Cleu Cheese Dressing.” I’m sure they don’t, and what a missed opportunity. Almost makes me want to start a rival restaurant across the street called Nancy Chew and do the damn thing proper. Almost.
3 | To Bead Or Knot 2 Bead
This one is the whole Simpsons Be Sharps thing incarnate. “We need a name that’s witty at first, but that seems less funny each time you hear it.” I bet when the ladies behind this shop thought of the name “To Bead or Not to Bead” — then escalated even further into “To Bead Or Knot 2 Bead” — they laughed loudly. Then softly. Then not at all. And whichever one of them is the Principal Skinner proxy said, “Perfect.”
4 | Surelock Homes
Of course, if you do use a locksmith, the locksmith tools will leave virtually imperceptible marks that only the real Sherlock Holmes could spot, trace and use to track you down. He’s like a one-man CSI without all of the flashy science montages and Ted Danson sightings.
5 | Lord of the Fries
Even if you really have a hankering to try one of those sausage rolls they’re pushing, I’d recommend NOT eating anything where one of the ingredients might be Piggy.
6 | Grate Expectations
The question then becomes: Do they go full Dickens? Fireplace grates come in either David Copperfield or Nicholas Nickleby? Tiny Timber to throw on the fire? Mantle clocks that only show the best of times and worst of times? (The answers are maybe, definitely no, and Jesus, man.)
7 | Tequila Mockingbird
This is really my favorite on the list. I would even lift my self-imposed tequila ban to drink here. (Ban currently at 12 days strong.)
8 | Merry Pop-Ins Day Care
Seems like a great place to send your kid until he declares he wants to be a chimney sweep, starts speaking with a Cockney accent, develops type two diabetes from taking any medication with a heaping spoonful of sugar and breaks his neck during an ill-fated tea party on the ceiling. (By the way, try Googling tea party on the ceiling. The Tea Party and the debt ceiling have really ruined that Mary Poppins reference.)
9 | Life of Pie
Just because it’s a fairly obvious pun doesn’t mean it’s a bad pun. If I ever find this place I’m going to order A Separate Piece of Banana Karenina cream pie. Then, after an awkward, six-second pause, the 15-year-old behind the counter will say, “So… a piece of banana cream pie?” And I will say yes.
10 | The Merchant of Tennis
As a Jew, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with what they expect as their membership fee. Although I would be joining to try to drop a few pounds, so win-win?
11 | Cash 22 Pawnbroker
And (loosely) speaking of usury, the classic Cash 22: Do you take out a payday loan to pay off the 93 percent interest rate on a previous payday loan?