Earlier this year we released our How to Open a Restaurant guide and launched a contest to help one aspiring restaurateur fund his or her dream project. After narrowing down the entries with the help of a trusted panel of New York restaurateurs, last month we announced our three finalists: Christopher Fehlinger, Reem Assil, and Robin Song. Today, they each launched Kickstarter campaigns to raise money for their restaurant projects!
Over the next 40 days, we’ll be cheering on Christopher, Reem, and Robin as they make progress towards their funding goal of $35,000. On September 9, the contest ends, and the finalist who has raised the most money will be declared the winner.
To recap, here’s what’s included in our grand prize, worth more than $38,000 total:
- A 12-month subscription to OpenTable’s flagship Guest Center product, plus access to the world’s largest diner network and a credit on cover fees
- A full set of professional All-Clad pans
- A set of 25 Hedley & Bennett aprons
- 25 annual memberships to the online content from Journee, a community for restaurant professionals
- $15,000 cash to put toward your project
Ready to follow along and lend your support? Get to know the finalists and check out their campaigns below.
Christopher Fehlinger, Clyde
Restaurant: Clyde, a new take on a wine bar, restaurant, and event space — paired with a modern design store — focused on accessibility.
Location: Denver, Colorado
In Christopher’s Words:
Clyde is the culmination of three decades of restaurant experience re-examined with a new passion. We are excited to create a neighborhood hub that offers an all-day refuge for food and wine lovers alike. At Clyde, we also look forward to creating solid jobs in a booming industry in a growing city. More importantly, we hope to nurture the next generation of restaurant professionals and to create career opportunities. Clyde is also our youngest French Bulldog, who some say controls our thoughts.
There are several components (revenue centers) to Clyde that will work in synergy. At the heart of the project, though, is a wine bar built around an affordable and accessible collection. Our goal is to offer 500 labels — most under $80 — along with a few higher-end selections for special occasions. As part of our commitment to create unique and memorable experiences for our guests, we will open just about any bottle for you to try a glass or two. It’s just more fun this way.
A rustic menu of impeccably sourced and simply prepared dishes will partner with the wines, yet stand on its own. Loosely based on the shared plate format, Clyde will offer about 20-25 selections for $25 or less, including traditional starters and entrees along with small plates. And awesome bread, because somewhere along the way restaurants forgot that was a thing people loved. Larger format meals such as standing racks, roasted suckling pig and large, line-caught fish will be available for groups to pre-order and taste with our chef.