Re-open Clementine Restaurant

$8,490 of $18k goal

Raised by 67 people in 4 months
WB
Winston Blick  BALTIMORE, MD


Hi, folks, I’m Winston Blick from Clementine and I, humbly, need your help.

Clementine opened its doors in 2008 during one of the worst recessions in recent memory. We served as a Hamilton-Lauraville gathering place for just over 7 years until we made the very painful decision to close the restaurant and concentrate on catering in August 2015. A year and some later, we’ve come to realize, that this was not the right decision and we are attempting to re-open Clementine as a restaurant with a few changes and additions to better serve the community.

Feeding our community locally-sourced foods featuring ethically raised meats is what we do best. Re-opening the restaurant for us means getting back to our core and, for me, will see me doing what I love most; cooking for my neighbors.

In order to re-open our doors, we need about $40,000.  We gotta fix a few broken things, update some of the interior such as the bar, and to buy opening inventory.

Ideally, we’d like to open before Thanksgiving and be the spot for the neighborhood to gather for the holidays and beyond. If you can help in any way, we’d be forever grateful and I hope that our incentives can show just a token of our appreciation.

- Winston Blick , Chef/Owner Clementine

Re-Opening Plan:

A re-opened Clementine will be considered more of a “gastropub” in that there will be smaller plates featuring our beloved classics and constantly rotating seasonal regional offerings geared towards sharing amongst friends & family. The atmosphere will be more relaxed and social as the “pub” portion indicates and, initially (possibly permanently), we’ll feature pub-style service where all food is ordered through the bar. Updates to furnishings and the bar will focus on being a neighborhood gathering place with a large community table, expanded bar, people watching coves in the front glass enclosure of entry, and even a few outside tables. The restaurant will only be using the larger “right side” of the building where the bar is located.

With our move to a more pub environment will come expanded bar hours and a bar program featuring Maryland craft beers/ciders/meads, wines, and spirits. By leveraging our relationships with local small craft brewers, vintners, and spirit makers, we plan to become the destination for exclusive releases and seasonal specials. Additionally, our extended hours will fill a much-needed nightlife option in the community and we plan to build on that by eventually adding live entertainment in the form of acoustic music acts, live trivia, etc.

Re-opening will see us pick back up our in-house meat curing program and, by extension, our house-made sausages, bacon, and charcuterie for both consumption in the restaurant and for sale at the Green Onion.

Initially, we’ll open Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays while we get our feet back under us and will expand services hours as we gain confidence. We know that we only have one shot to win folks back and to make a great impression on new neighbors and ramping up slowly will allow us to make sure every part of the new Clementine experience is perfect.

Retail Craft Beer, Wine, and Spirits Shop:

While scaling back the restaurant to be more “pub-like,” the left side of the building will be developed to house another element the Hamilton-Lauraville area is lacking: a retail store featuring Maryland craft beers/ciders/meads, wines, and spirits as well as other more high-end products not found in other neighborhood retailers. We plan to start small and expand each category to get those harder to find products not available in our surrounding area.

In addition to craft beer, wine, and spirits, we’ll introduce charcuterie boxes to-go that can be paired up with your beverage selections creating a one-stop shop for party starters or a nice night in for when the kids go to bed and Netflix gets fired up. As we grow the retail store, we’ll add a growler filling station for local craft beer, ciders, and meads. If we raise more the $50,000 in the next 30 days, we can start this project immediately.

A Commitment To Hamilton-The Lauraville Community:

Giving back to our community is very important to us and, as such, we’ve been working with the folks at Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street to give back in a manner that best utilizes our strength as a restaurant. Our discussions led us to commit to the on-going efforts to open the Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street Kitchen initiative ( http://bmoremainstreet.com/in-the-news/main-street-newspress-releases/main-street-kitchen/ ). Our support will come in the form of holding at least 4 fundraisers at Clementine per year until the center opens and continue to aid in fundraising efforts once under way. Additionally, we will provide training for individuals entering the HLMS Kitchen program at the kitchen or in our facility. A stronger small business base in the community makes for a stronger community with more options and that is certainly something we believe in.

Why Should I Help Clementine Re-open?

We know that there a many causes to give to your hard-earned money to and that helping out a business is a hard sell. We’d like to think that we’re more than just a restaurant for the Hamilton-Lauraville neighborhood; we’re a gathering place for old & new neighbors to rub elbows, a first date destination, a marriage proposal celebration, and an anniversary dinner. Above all, we’re an anchor in a neighborhood that needs folks that care enough and are willing to stick it out and see our little village reach its full potential.

We live in Hamilton and want our business to stay in Hamilton. Our employees are our neighbors and we deeply care about creating opportunities for the next generation of Hamilton-Lauraville residents.

In addition to our place in the neighborhood, we feel that our Rewards are structured in a way that are truly a “reward” for helping our cause in the form of not only a listing on a Thank You plaque but, also, as discounts so that you remain a vital part of our success.

Why Does Clementine Need Help To Re-open?

The simple truth is that a series of bad financial situations forced us to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2016. While we have restructured and have been working very hard to right the ship as a catering-only company, we have found that is not nearly as financially lucrative enough to allow us to have “extra” funds to re-open while meeting our restructuring commitments. Additionally, as we are in Chapter 11 still, we are unable to attain commercial loans or a line of credit. We have received several small personal loans to assist in opening and that has lessened our need to be $40,000 to re-open vs. an initial amount much higher.

What Steps Has Clementine Taken To Be Successful?

Our restructuring has forced us to thoroughly evaluate the manner in which we do business. We consulted with many industry experts and concluded that the best course of action for us was to bring in a few partners to run the business aspects while our core strengths in the kitchen and the dining experience can get 100% of our attention. This move will allow us to avoid the very situation that found us entering in to Chapter 11. We wish that we had done this years prior, however, hindsight is 20/20. Additionally, we have put forth an aggressive plan to exit Chapter 11 as quickly as possible so that we do not have that hanging over our heads.

We believe we have the perfect team now to continue to be successful and remain in our home in Hamilton-Lauraville for years to come!

Rewards:

In addition to our eternal gratitude, we hope that our Rewards relay a token of our gratitude. Everyone that donates $100 or more will receive 15% of each and every check in the restaurant for at least 1 year as well as appearing on a special re-opening Thank You plaque we will have created.


$100 Donation Level
- 15% off your check in restaurant for 1 year
- Listing on Thank You plaque

$250 Donation Level
- 15% off your check in restaurant & retail beer/wine/liquor store for 1 year
- Listing on Thank You plaque

$500 Donation Level

- 15% off your check in restaurant & retail beer/wine/liquor store for 2 years
- Listing on Thank You plaque
- $200 gift card

$1000 Donation Level

- 15% off your check in restaurant & retail beer/wine/liquor store for 2 years
- Listing on Thank You plaque
- $500 gift card

$2000 Donation Level

- 15% off your check in restaurant  & retail beer/wine/liquor store for 2 years
- Listing on Thank You plaque
- $1,000 gift card or private party for 40

$5000 Donation Level

- 15% off your check in restaurant & retail beer/wine/liquor store for 2 years
- Listing on Thank You plaque
- $2,500 gift card of private party for 80
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Update 5
Posted by Winston Blick
2 months ago
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Folks, thank to your generosity, we are now able to open this Wednesday for our soft opening from 5-10 pm. We realize it's super short notice but would love to see you if you can stop by. If you can't stop by Wednesday, we'll be open Thursday and Friday of this week and we'll reopen weds, thurs, fri, and sat of next week . We'll keep you updated on the New Years Eve menu! When you do visit us and are in the discount or gift card tier, we will have a book behind the bar with your names and such called ' Friends of Clementine '. Again, thank you very much for your kindness, generosity and belief in us !!! Winston
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Update 4
Posted by Winston Blick
3 months ago
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Thanks to the generosity of folks that have donated to our re-opening efforts & good old fashioned bootstrapping, we've been able to cut back our re-opening budget needs! What that means is that we're only $11k away from opening our doors + we believe we can get it done by the first week of December. Spread the word and help out if you can!
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Update 3
Posted by Winston Blick
3 months ago
   Share
Friends , we are getting closer ! We should be painting this week! It's happening because of your generosity !
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Update 2
Posted by Winston Blick
3 months ago
   Share
Folks ! Thank you so much for your kindness, graciousness and generosity! It is staggering. The gears are turning and the ball is rolling ! Thanks, thank you, thank you! We will serve you well! W.
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 2.0K shares on Facebook
Read a Previous Update
Benjie Loveless
4 months ago

Hi folks, I thought that Clementine was the absolutely best restaurant in Maryland and it was a great loss to Baltimore when it closed. The food, mood, atmosphere and service style were all perfect. While I would love to see it re- opened, some of these stylistic changes in your proposal are wholly unappealing to me. Small plate centric, ordering from the bar, pub environment are all things I avoid. I loved Clementine in part because it lacked some of these fatiguing, tired bandwagon trends. I understand that you have determined that this is the way to go to be fiscally solvent, but it would likely keep me away as a customer. Myself and Lady friend ate at the previous incarnation about twice a month . It was always our first choice for eating out. Quiet, superior food, humble unpretentious environment, completely free of affectation, REAL. I will share this page and I wish you well with this new endeavor but this re conceptualization would not likely draw us back in.

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$8,490 of $18k goal

Raised by 67 people in 4 months
Created October 21, 2016
LL
$150
Lena Liberman
1 month ago

Welcome back! We've missed you so. Good luck and much love going forward!

$500
Anonymous
1 month ago
KP
$100
Kelly Pfeifer
2 months ago
EB
$20
Emilie Berman
3 months ago
JD
$100
Jean DuBose
3 months ago
DL
$100
Donna Landers
3 months ago

Looking forward to having you back!

JF
$100
Jodi Frey
3 months ago

I am so excited that you are planning to re-open. One of my all time favorite restaurants!

CG
$100
Courtney Gardner
3 months ago
$100
Shawn Gworek
3 months ago
DP
$100
David Pugh
3 months ago
Benjie Loveless
4 months ago

Hi folks, I thought that Clementine was the absolutely best restaurant in Maryland and it was a great loss to Baltimore when it closed. The food, mood, atmosphere and service style were all perfect. While I would love to see it re- opened, some of these stylistic changes in your proposal are wholly unappealing to me. Small plate centric, ordering from the bar, pub environment are all things I avoid. I loved Clementine in part because it lacked some of these fatiguing, tired bandwagon trends. I understand that you have determined that this is the way to go to be fiscally solvent, but it would likely keep me away as a customer. Myself and Lady friend ate at the previous incarnation about twice a month . It was always our first choice for eating out. Quiet, superior food, humble unpretentious environment, completely free of affectation, REAL. I will share this page and I wish you well with this new endeavor but this re conceptualization would not likely draw us back in.

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