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Oulu bar changes name to Covid-19

The owner says the name change has divided opinion among customers.

Oululainen baari muutti nimensä Covid-19 Bariksi.
The bar in the centre of Oulu city was previously called the Eighty Eight Bar. Image: Mari Jäntti / Yle

A bar in Finland's northwest coastal city of Oulu has changed its name to Covid-19, evoking both positive and negative reactions from patrons and locals alike.

The bar’s owner Phithat Narongphan told Oulu-based newspaper Kaleva that the name of the premises, previously called the Eighty Eight Bar, had to be changed as the business became a limited company.

Options such as 'Corona 88' and 'Hotbar 96' were considered, Narongphan said, but it was eventually decided to rename the bar 'Covid-19', which was approved by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office three weeks ago.

"This is not meant to attract attention. It reflects our fight against the virus, against this bad time," Narongphan told Kaleva. "Certainly Covid-19 will be in our lives for many more years to come."

Narongphan said the new name has received some positive, but mostly negative, feedback.

"The name is just a name," Narongphan said. "Probably 90 percent don’t like it, but I do."

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