Aquarium revamps cafe

August 31, 2011|By Richard Gorelick | The Baltimore Sun

The National Aquarium has revamped its main dining facility, and the new space has a fresh and local focus that is "in perfect harmony with the Aquarium’s green business practices and conservation education mission."

Operated by the Gaithersburg, Md-based Sodexo Leisure, the aquarium's new cafe will feature seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses, grass-fed beef, humanely raised chicken, sustainably-harvested seafood and shade-grown coffee.

A press release announcing the new facility says that the new dining facility will act as "an extension of a visit to the National Aquarium." Bill Minarik the attraction’s senior director of visitor experiences, says that the dining facility "complements the sustainable business choices we make throughout Aquarium operations, and helps visitors do the same in their daily lives."

The new dining facility is available to all Aquarium visitors during normal business hours. 

All of this sounds great, but the new space's name, the Harbor Market Kitchen, is a total snoozefest  It's not only boring, it's short-sigthed (five bucks says the name won't last five years) and wrong-headed, I think, in that it carries a self-congratulatory little message that should both be so obvious that no one has to say it and so seamless that no one notices it.

So, why not name your sustainable, seasonable and local-leaning cafe something like Splashies!! or the Dolphin Family Picnic.

Or, if the cafe's name does have to stay on message, you could still do better than Harbor Mark-- it's really too boring to even type in. How about a name that says something - like Estuary?

Who's got a good name for the aquarium's new cafe?

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