A Natural Progression: From Foreign Policy to Southern Hospitality
We are husband and wife team, Matt and Ashley. We started The Fat Beagle <http://thefatbeagle.squarespace.com/> in January 2012 with food festivals and every opportunity we could get our hands on: Smorgasburg, Dekalb Market, Hester Nights, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, various Governors Island events, and random street festivals throughout the five boroughs. Word spread quickly and we expanded into catering for weddings, social events and corporate parties.
When we started out, neither of us knew where we were going. We had both just finished graduate school and were on our way to finding a job in the field of international relations. But that didn't work out as planned. With government funding slashed, no doors were opening and thus no jobs for recent graduates.
Ashley had been working in the restaurant industry for over fifteen years; starting as a busser, then moving onto being a server, bartender, manager, and wedding coordinator. She knew more about restaurants than anything else.
Matt had just as much experience, working in restaurants to pay for school, and developing ideas for his dream menu. Growing up in North Carolina, Matt has a passion for BBQ--the time, spices, and level of care that comes with producing perfectly succulent meat has become more than just a hobby.
Since 2012, The Fat Beagle has generated a good amount of buzz, especially given the fact that there was no formal advertising, just word of mouth. The business was quickly becoming viable, but lack of a kitchen space was proving to be costly and a huge headache. So, this is the next step: a brick and mortar.
We are confident that with our decades of combined experience, we can open what we had initially only dreamed of doing. With catering contracts already lined up for 2014 and the perfect storefront leased, we are now ready to begin the project of opening a cozy southern inspired bistro, with a lush backyard and abundant flowers, beer and wine from small breweries and vineyards throughout the U.S, and seasonal fare sourced straight from family farms and local purveyors.
We are incredibly excited to start this endeavor, but we desperately need your help. In order to complete the project, which will begin on May 1st, 2013 and take about two months (we anticipate opening July 1st), we need to come up with $100,000. We have put every penny we have into this project, but we have fallen short.
The Restaurant: At the base of beautiful Prospect Park
Surrounded by trees
And square miles of Victorian homes
With your help, we can turn this:
Into something more like this:
Risks and challenges
Thankfully, the storefront we leased already has a kitchen installed, thus the overall project cost has been greatly reduced; because there is already a kitchen in place, much of the work is cosmetic as opposed to structural.
Our most pressing potential delays deal with city inspections (DOH, DOB, Fire Department, etc) and receiving our liquor license. However, this should only delay the restaurant opening by a month, if at all.
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