Wizards of the Coast. You remember them....right?
I was prepping for my HackMaster game last night, loosely populating the town the PCs were starting in. My method is to basically determine what is in the town, come up with the racial breakdown, and then just have a list of random names. When the PCs interact with people I give them a name and then mark off where that person is in the town. If the party never visits the village's one Cooper, I don't have to worry about him so much.
One thing I do put a little more effort into is providing a bit more of a framework for any Inns and Taverns that might be in town. I give them a proper name and try to determine what they have to offer. I thought I had a menu generator in my secret stash of GM time-savers, but I couldn't find it. I think I might have to just create a new one. In the short term I could either make some stuff on the fly or find a quick generator.
I decided I wanted to have several day's worth of menus available for both taverns in the PC's village. I was able to use the Wizards of the Coast's quick and easy Tavern Generator to quicky get what I needed.
Now I only used the menu, but there is a lot more that they offered. If you need to pull a quick tavern out of your "book", then this is a great resource. I could easily see printing off a few random taverns and filing them away in an "emergency" binder to pull them out later as needed.