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Big Mac, not Little Mac

(article, Culinate staff)

In February, Bay Area resident Allison Arevalo used her blog, Local Lemons, to announce some big news: She and a friend were opening a small restaurant in Oakland that would feature, among other things, macaroni and cheese. Here's an excited Arevalo, on her blog:

bq. After hours, days, months and countless emails to friends, we named our restaurant Little Mac. Cute, huh? Mac for macaroni and cheese, because that’s what we’ll have. All kinds of mac and cheese, using local cheeses and farm-fresh produce. Of course that won’t be all. We’ll also have salads, craft beers, California wines and nostalgic desserts like homemade Oreo cookies. We don’t have a final location just yet, but we hope to set up shop in downtown or uptown Oakland, and if we’re really lucky we’ll open our doors by mid-summer.

According to Arevalo, she and her business partner, Erin Wade, checked with an attorney about the name Little Mac, but were assured that there wouldn't be problems with any of the big Macs out there: MAC cosmetics, Apple, or McDonald's. And so the two went along, happily working out all the other million kinks that come with opening a restaurant.

But as opening day approached, they began to grow nervous about the name. Wade, an attorney herself, called McDonald's and spoke to their corporate council, who delivered the whopper: yes, indeed, McDonald's would have a problem with a restaurant named Little Mac. 

The two decided not to push their luck. Instead, in an effort to make lemonade out of, uh, local lemons, they agreed to hold a contest for a new name. The contest has been going on over on Arevalo's blog for a couple of weeks, but it's not too late to submit your idea; if they pick your name (and they are hoping to choose a name "by sometime next week,") you could win bragging rights — and a lifetime supply of free mac-n-cheese (or something).

Just don't send them Corkscrew You, Say Cheese, or Elbow Room; someone else beat you to it.