Oh, Brother! Five Pairs of Restaurant Names Certain to Cause Confusion

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5) Julia Blackbird's New Mexican Cafe and Blackbird The only thing these two restaurants have in common is the word "blackbird." Julia Blackbird's is the original; it was one of the pioneers of the West Highland scene back in 2000. Despite the waning popularity of Southwestern cuisine in general, this bright and colorful cafe has managed to eke out a niche on the ever-changing strip of West 32nd Ave. Blackbird is the new kid: so new, in fact, that it hasn't even served its first dinner in its West Washington Park location that previously held Handle Bar. The Tavern to Table restaurant group that also operates Atticus and Boone's expects this Blackbird to take wing next month.

The winner: Julia Blackbird's. The new Blackbird isn't so much confusing to diners as it is a little redundant. How many restaurants containing this bird word does Denver need? Given the Harper Lee connection with sister restaurant Atticus, we suggest Finch or Mockingbird as aviary alternatives.

4) 3 Sons Italian Restaurant and 3 Sons BBQ The original 3 Sons Italian restaurant served old-school Italian on Denver's Northside (in a spot that's now home to Ernie's Bar & Pizza) for decades before being purchased by the Scarafiotti family in 2004 and moved to its current Arvada location in 2009. Much newer to the scene, 3 Sons BBQ opened just over a year ago in the restaurant-starved Whittier neighborhood.

The winner: 3 Sons Italian, but only by a noodle's breadth, and only because of the longevity of the red-sauce joint. Once you get past the name, there's no confusion; the newer 3 Brothers perfumes the block with wood smoke and serves up legit versions of Carolina-style pulled pork and a mean helping of collard greens kicked up with brisket burnt ends. If you're meeting friends, just be sure to indicate which kind of red sauce you're craving before you set your GPS.

3) Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria and Marco's Pizza When Mark Dym opened Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria in the Ballpark neighborhood more than six years ago, there wasn't much competition on the block, and good Neapolitan pizza in general was was hard to come by in Denver; there's now a second location in Centennial that opened in 2011. But in the meantime, Ohio pizza chain Marco's moved into the metro area. "Our product is so completely different," Dym said at the time. "They're a delivery service."

The winner: Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza. Delivery pizza chains are as common as Peyton Manning touchdown passes. A well-made, tangy, blistered, Neapolitan pie takes precedence.

Keep reading for more like-named establishments.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation