And The Winner, Edging Out Orientalist Bistro, Is…

Apparently GW Hillel, or some organization operating therein, has opened a new food spoy. They ended up choosing “Colonial Kosher Cafe”. Like, totally awesome man, will they have subservient waiters?

Are you looking for Kosher food in the DC area? Specifically, around the Foggy bottom neighborhood? Then check out the Colonial Kosher Cafe;, now open Monday thru Thursday from 11:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. … Colonial Kosher Café is located in GW Hillel …

What did the design process look like? Well, Economic Oppression of Indigenous People Kosher Cafe is a little bit of a mouth full. How about Orientalist Kosher Cafe? Too Neo-Saidian! How about GW Kosher Cafe? Not edgy enough. Ahh, how about we use the school sports motif and go with Colonial Kosher Cafe? That has potential. Oh, but wait, doesn’t that run into the awkward situation where we, by using colonialist language in connection with Jewish identity, accidentally bring up issues that may connect Jews and Colonial issues.
Maybe they want to recall our triumphant history in Colonial Europe. How did that turn out for our people? Anyone care to name how many european nations expelled Jews during the runup and duration of the colonial period? Here, I’ll even get you started: England, Spain, France, Sicily, Portugal, Naples, and Venice (just forced into Ghetto, nothing major).
Perhaps they were looking for a more neo-colonialist theme in which case, were they teasing the Palestinian Solidarity Movement crew?

14 thoughts on “And The Winner, Edging Out Orientalist Bistro, Is…

  1. So I guess the Asian restaurant Tiger Noodles in Princeton should also change its name lest it be misunderstood as having an anti-Buddhist Tamil nationalist subtext?

  2. You are kidding, right? Because, if you’re not, you’ve pretty much confirmed every right-wing argument against political correctness that has ever been made. It’s the name of the fucking mascot of the school, get over it.

  3. Actually, GW’s teams are called the Colonials. As in George Washington, 13 colonies, you get the idea. There’s no disrespect intended.

  4. Intended or not, given the association between zionism and colonialism, you think Hillel, the self-appointed kings of campus hasbara would be more judicious.

  5. This is in the same town that boasts a sports team called the Redskins. While I recognize that both the cafe name and the team moniker might be offensive to some, you people need to get a life and worry about something important like genocide in Darfur or war in Iraq or…….

  6. As a trademark and advertising lawyer I was definitely surprised by the choice. Especially because it isn’t just intended for the campus, they’re advertising to the greater community (DC only has 2 kosher joints). When you pick a name you should go through a reflective process and think about possible misunderstandings or confusion that could be caused by the name.
    Political correctness aside, I think “Colonials” is a sucky name for a mascot (“We’ll Give You Smallpox!”) and that “Colonial Cafe” does not inspire choruses of “yum!”

  7. There are tons of things around GW called Colonial. The student debit cards are Colonial Cash. There are parking garages all over the city called Colonial Parking. To pretty much anyone living in DC, the word “Colonial” attached to something just says that there’s some connection with GW.

  8. I’ve lived in DC for 8 years and couldn’t have told you what GW’s mascot is. Don’t know Catholic’s or American’s either.

  9. I’m a GW alum, and I’ve always thought the “Colonials” nickname was kind of bogus. For one thing, George Washington, for whom the school is named, devoted his life to making his country non-colonial, and I think George might not be pleased about such a nickname. For another, Washington DC, where GW is located, DID NOT EXIST during the Colonial period, and even after DC became the capital in 1800 (25 years after the Revolution started and 17 years after the Constitution was ratified), the neighborhood where where GW is located was pretty much an uninhabited swamp.
    I’m not sure why they decided on such a bogus nickname. If they wanted to connect to Washington’s career, they could have called themselves the “Continentals,” as Washington was Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. And “Continental Army” would have a good macho/militaristic ring suitable for use by the jock press when referring to sports teams. Not that GW is any kind of college sports powerhouse…

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