The Searsucker Story!
All about the name of Brian's forthcoming restaurant
Having released the name of our new project recently, I’ve been asked over and over again, WHY? And what does it mean? Let me explain our reasoning on naming her Searsucker.
It started when my wife Chantelle and I were driving by the Del Mar Racetrack. I was complaining about missing Opening Day, something I hadn’t done in my five years in San Diego. I had to be out of town and I was upset — not because of the great horseracing I had missed, but more importantly, I didn’t get to wear my seersucker suit. Seersucker suits go best with Opening Day, Easter and hot Southern summer days. Easter and opening day had passed, and I had no plans to head to the South anytime soon, so the old classic suit would have to hang in the dark closet for one more season. We drove a few miles farther and my wife looked over to me and said, “That’s it! We did it! We finally have the name for your new restaurant: Seersucker!”
I loved it! If you know me and my style, I love the show, I love the spotlight and I love a little controversy! Who in their right mind would name a restaurant with the word “sucks” in it? What easy ammunition for critics, haters and naysayers. I texted my business partner, James Brennan, to see if he liked it as much as we did; immediately from across the country James simply texted back, “nice.”
But it wasn’t said and done at that point. We had to run it by a few very close friends and family members; we ran it by our designer, Thomas Schoos, who thought of several things to do with “suck” that have nothing to do with bad food, poor service or an awful ambiance. My mom thought we were crazy, some people laughed, some had no idea what seersucker even was. For those of you who don’t know, let us turn to Wikipedia:
Seersucker is a thin, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or checkered, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. The word came into English from Hindi, which originates from the Persian words "shir o shekar," meaning "milk and sugar", probably from the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth surface of milk and bumpy texture of sugar. Seersucker is woven in such a way that some threads bunch together, giving the fabric a wrinkled appearance in places. This feature causes the fabric to be mostly held away from the skin when worn, facilitating improved heat dissipation and air circulation. It also means that ironing is not necessary. Common items of clothing made from seersucker include suits, shorts, shirts and robes. The most common colors for it are white and blue; however, it is produced in a wide variety of colors, usually alternating colored stripes and puckered white stripes slightly wider than pinstripes.
When I read the definition of seersucker I began to like it even more. Milk and sugar; smooth and rough; spring and summer; wrinkled appearance; no ironing! These are the ideas behind our design — this is the feeling we are creating: worn and comfortable! The building on Fifth and Market is a beautiful building that screams “coastal living” to me — bright and beautiful with a definite feminine-quality, milk and honey feel.
It wasn’t the definition that got us all fired up, but the history that we read next:
The fabric was originally worn by the poor in the U.S. until undergraduate students, in an air of reverse snobbery, began to wear the fabric. Damon Runyon wrote that his new habit for wearing seersucker was "causing much confusion among my friends. They cannot decide whether I am broke or just setting a new vogue.”
Unpretentious! Rebellious! A new vogue! Reverse snobbery! Awesome!
Several people wanted us to name it Malarkey, No Malarkey, Full of Malarkey, 5th and Malarkey, or Malarkey on Market, but this restaurant is not about me. It’s about us — you and me. We’re building this restaurant for San Diego diners! I’m not cooking for me, I’m cooking for you, and seersucker defines the style, the vibe, and the mojo in which we are looking and striving for. A timeless American classic!
I was inspired by other restaurants that had fun with their names and obviously didn’t take themselves too seriously: Village Idiot, Father’s Office, Monkey Bar and so many other great ones. It’s best to make fun of yourself, to have the humility to laugh at yourself, have fun and enjoy life. And take the wind out of the naysayers’ sails!
We had to put our own spin on the name so we changed “Seer” to “Sear,” adding a little bit of sea to the scheme of things. We’re not going to be a seafood restaurant because of my non-compete agreement with the Oceanaire, but we are going to serve a lot of SEA food …
It’s fun, it’s real and now you know why we came up with the name Searsucker! Ill keep you posted on the ups and downs of opening this restaurant — your restaurant.
• Tonight we are dining a Cucina Urbana for Chantelle’s birthday! What a great place to get a group of great friends together.
• I love the burger at Neighborhood! Ketchup? What ketchup?
• Get out and visit some of the great local beer makers — they all offer FREE tastings and education. I recently went to AleSmith, The Lost Abbey, Lightning and Green Flash!
Happy 2010! Cheers!