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I'm doing a Spanish project where we write a script for a commercial. First, we wrote it in English and now we have to translate to Spanish. So far, it's been okay, but I'm just not sure if I should put a definite article before a restaurant name. I'm basically going to say (in English), "What do our chefs have to say about Gringos & Ponchos?" Once again, I just need to know about the article. Thank you so much!

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Where I live (north of Spain) it is pretty common to use the article with restaurant names. I'm not so sure about formal things like newspapers or commercials, but in the everyday use, we use it all the time: "Ayer cené en el X", "me han dicho que en el Y se come muy bien"... –  MikMik May 15 '13 at 8:55
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2 Answers

The name of the restaurant is a proper name, and therefor, formally, it isn't written with an article. At the other hand, you might hear a lot of people using an article. Certainly when people get familiar with a certain place or when it is a place everybody knows, they will probably use an article (although this might also be geographically dependent). If there exist more Gringos & Ponchos, and you are saying: "El Gringos & Ponchos de [ciudad], you have to use an article (but that's the same for English).

The rule is the same for names of persons. But for the name of a river or some other name that only exists once, the article might get very stick to the name. Although in Spanish, here you can find a quite complete explanation and many examples for the use of articles.

For your commercial I would not use an article, as it is quite formal.

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I think, in this case, you can ommit the article.

As MikMik says, it's common in Spain use the article when you mention a restaurant:

Ayer cené en el Fridays - Ayer cené en el [restaurante] Fridays

If you mention the restaurant as a space, colloquially you usually will hear:

Que opinas del [restaurante] Fridays?

But, if you are mentioning the restaurant as a brand, in formal context, Silke was right:

Cuestionario de opinión: Que opinas de Fridays?

The same with other commercial stores, bar and stuff:

Formal: Haga sus compras en Carrefour

Colloquiall: Voy a comprar al Carrefour

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