Origin of the name "bouchon lyonnais"
The "bouchon lyonnais" is a typical restaurant where you can eat specialities from Lyon such as the "tablier de sapeur", pikes and "cervelle du Canut". Generally, the meal is accompanied with a glass of Beaujolais or Côtes du Rhône red wine. Several writers precise that traditional restaurant must be a simple and friendly place.
We must cite Jean-Marie Fonteneau: the real "bouchon lyonnais" must maintain the traditional cooking of Lyon based on the products authenticity, but it must be as well a cheerfull place with a friendly atmosphere.
Contrary to what we have been hearing, the name "bouchon" would not be based on the fact that, in the past, the customers horses were be "bouchonnés" (to rub down horses). That name would rather come from the customs of cabarets owners. To be seen well, they used to hook a bunch of twigs on their door.
Nizier du Puitspelu confirms that hypothesis in his book "Le Littré de la Grand'Côte". He defines the word "bouchon" as a round shape pine branches which was suspended at the door of cabarets for store sign. In the old French language, the word "bousche" meant pine branches. It's the cabaret itself (by metonymy: the thing for the sign of the thing).