January 20, 2010

Proposed cafe names all nerdy, headache-inducing

Housing and Dining Services is soliciting new names for the South Campus Cafe and C-Store, and, wonder of wonders, all the options are very U of C.

From the contest announcement: "Since early December, Campus Dining Services has been accepting nominations to name the street-level Café and Convenience Store located adjacent to the new South Campus Residence Hall on 60th and Ellis Avenues.... The Campus Dining Advisory Board made up of student representatives from Inter-House Council (IHC) and Student Government (SG) has narrowed down the list from over 200 submissions, to a list of 8 possible choices."


Base Mart

Crescat Cafe

In Caffeino Veritas

Life of the Grind

Midway Market

South Mart

South of Sixtieth (SOS)

The Allegory of the Crave

I get that we're quirky and intellectual and, you know, puns!—but seriously, do you really want to be buying gummy bears at 3 a.m. from "the Allegory of the Crave"? (Kudos to whoever thought that one up—I'm sure they had to forcibly restrain Jim Nondorf to keep him from sending it out to everybody.) Bart Mart works as a name because it's short and it rhymes and it's utterly unclever; its sheer unpretentiousness suffices because buying Cheetos and $10 boxes of Corn Pops while shakily clutching a Red Bull is about as unpretentious as it gets. Late-night snack shops are maybe the least U of C-ish thing at the U of C - and the Campus Dining Advisory Board want to turn every visit to the one at South Campus into a Latin pun? People were mad for years when Uncle Joe's became Hallowed Grounds; "Common Knowledge" (the name appended by admins to the new cafe in Harper) has been so hard for students to stomach that a renaming contest is taking place this quarter.

You can vote here, though it's sort of like a runoff between Dan Quayle and Hubert Humphrey.

UPDATE, 1/28/10: Good work, U of C—1,600 votes later, the pretty much normal name "Midway Market" has won. Generations of hungry students thank you.