Unbelievable, but yes, finally we’ve got a name. It is NOPI. We mainly like the sound of it, which is short, memorable and light-hearted, and it also relates to the location of our restaurant, north of Piccadilly.
Sounds simple, No? This was one of the longest name deliveries in recorded history, with so many ideas being put forward, chosen and then briskly retracted - due to some unforeseen but always mega-crucial reservation - that we started doubting whether we are ever going to get there. It became an obsession. Almost every social event, particularly around Cornelia and Peter’s dining table, turned into a debate club, culminating in emotional, over-heated exchanges.
You see, names are like food, everybody considers themselves an expert on the subject; everybody has something to say. It’s very long or too short, it is trivial, it’s original; it sounds like a profanity or it doesn’t mean anything at all; it is old-fashioned, it is too English, it sounds like a Japanese restaurant or like a brothel. There’s no end to it.
The best of minds were put to the task. Helen’s David, who came up with Plenty and always a busy man, worked long into the night going over our shortlists and longlists, finding faults and merits, analysing connotations and associations. Cornelia’s Peter, a master of humorous verse, extended our option pool into less predictable areas such as David Bowie tracks or old English titles. Sami’s Jeremy came up with some deadpan comical options. We considered Latin and ancient Hebrew, various acronyms and every possible ingredient on the face of the earth.
At the end, we were so worn out by indecision that we just had to remove this question from our hands and from our minds. So we asked Caz, who does our graphics (www.heredesign.co.uk), to visualize a couple of options for us, to turn the sounds into images. It worked. The chosen name came out as an easy winner and we could all finally breath out a huge sigh of relief… NOPI.