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Bad Saint brings the heart and soul of Filipino food to a neighborhood restaurant in Columbia Heights, DC.
Bad Saint brings the heart and soul of Filipino food to a neighborhood restaurant in Columbia Heights, DC.
280 backers pledged $41,066 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$41,066

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THE CONCEPT

Bad Saint is a 25-seat restaurant taking a fresh and seasonal approach to traditional Filipino food. This spring, we are joining a strip of independent local businesses on 11th Street, NW in the diverse, dynamic neighborhood of Columbia Heights in Washington, DC. Our menu will celebrate the full range of eats on the Filipino table – humble homey favorites, snacks, regional specialties, and fiesta (celebration) dishes. The restaurant will showcase what Filipinos are famous for: food obsession, warm hospitality, and good times. Come as you are, and definitely come hungry.

THE FOOD

Pomelo, fresh coconut, garlic peanuts and chiles.
Pomelo, fresh coconut, garlic peanuts and chiles.

Like Thai, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian cuisines, the essential flavors of Filipino food are sweet, sour and salty. As you might expect, there will be food for meat-etarians, like adobo (meat braised with soy, vinegar and garlic), kare kare (oxtail stew) and lumpiang shanghai (pork spring rolls). Our approach will also highlight seasonal seafood and vegetables, important parts of the Philippine diet. Sour tamarind soup with prawns, stir fried water spinach, crabs simmered in coconut milk and chiles, and smoky grilled eggplant…and there’s lots more where that came from! With a diverse menu, including options for vegetarians and vegans, there will be something for everyone. To wash it all down, we’ll have an eclectic and food-friendly selection of cocktails, beer and wine.  

The first thing you hear upon entering any Filipino home is:  

Kumain na kayo?  “Have you eaten yet?”

At Bad Saint, we are creating a casual neighborhood restaurant that evokes the experience of eating in a Filipino home. We want you to feel like you have walked into a bumpin’ Filipino family party – gracious, down-to-earth hospitality, seriously craveable food, and yummy drinks in a disarming and convivial setting.

THE NAME

Our name – Bad Saint – comes from Saint Malo, Louisiana, the site of the first permanent settlement of Filipinos in the United States. Filipino sailors deserted Spanish galleon ships and made their way to this coastal fishing village. The village was named after Jean Saint Malo, the leader of a nearby community of African Americans who had escaped slavery. To us, Saint Malo symbolizes the Filipino immigrant experience in the U.S. and the diverse, resilient culture that gave rise to Filipino cuisine. The Philippines has long been a crossroads: local Malays, waves of Chinese migration and assimilation, Spanish and American imperialism. You can taste this layered history in Filipino food.

THE KOPONAN (THE TEAM) 

Nick Pimentel - Co-Owner/Designer/Visual Identity Guru

Nick has extensive experience doing graphic design and visual branding for some of DC’s favorite restaurants and bars, including Columbia Room, Hogo, El Chucho Cocina Superior, Looking Glass Lounge and The Passenger. In recent years, he has expanded his portfolio of skills and services to include restaurant layout and functionality, interior design, concept development, hiring, contracting and project management. You can see examples of his handiwork at Room 11, Petworth Citizen, and Crane & Turtle.

Nick is also a partner in Room 11, a neighborhood wine bar and restaurant, recognized as one of the Best New Bars in the U.S. by Food & Wine Magazine. 

At Bad Saint, Nick will manage Bad Saint’s visual identity – from interior design to menus to our social media - and troubleshoot the day-to-day realities of restaurant life with his business partner, Genevieve. 

For Nick’s full bio, click here

Genevieve Villamora - Co-Owner/General Manager/Front of the House Maven 

Before starting a second career in the restaurant industry, Genevieve worked at social justice nonprofit organizations in DC for a decade. She has extensive experience in organizational development, coalition building, event planning, partnership cultivation, personnel management, mentorship, strategic planning, and program implementation – all skills that directly translate to the restaurant world. 

Genevieve has a mix of both casual and fine dining restaurant experience, and has worked at Teaism, Big Bear Café, Room 11, Komi, Little Serow, and Crane & Turtle. 

At Bad Saint, Genevieve will be managing daily operations, running the front of the house, and overseeing general office-y stuff. 

For Genevieve’s full bio, click here

Tom Cunanan - Chef 

When he was 15, Tom started started working in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher at Corduroy.  He graduated with a Culinary Associate’s degree from the Art Institute of Washington in 2005, and has since worked at some of Washington’s notable restaurants, including Ardeo + Bardeo, Vidalia, DC Coast, Zentan at the Donovan House, Bibiana, and the late Hook and PS7’s. 

In 2012, while he was working full-time, Tom started a Filipino catering business named Tarsier Catering, where he served up modern riffs on traditional dishes. Tom currently works as a Sous Chef at Nopa Kitchen + Bar. 

At Bad Saint, Tom will lead the back of the house and keep our guests stuffed with delicious Filipino food. 

For Tom’s full bio, click here

WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP 

Left:  Bad Saint's space, "before";  Right: Our space in-progress.
Left: Bad Saint's space, "before"; Right: Our space in-progress.

The funds raised through this Kickstarter campaign will go toward significant structural improvements to our space. We have replaced an entire wall that was riddled with termite damage and rebuilt a portion of a load-bearing brick wall that was on the verge of crumbling. We also increased the electrical capacity of our building – a costly and time-consuming undertaking. 

This Kickstarter campaign will also help pay for built-in storage throughout our adorably tiny kitchen and dining room, vital additions that will boost the functionality of our space and enable us to maximize our efficiency. 

We’re humbled by and grateful for any contribution you can make to our Kickstarter campaign. We look forward to hosting you at the restaurant! 

OUR REWARDS

Samples of a few of our rewards.  Note: Not to scale.  Designs may change.
Samples of a few of our rewards. Note: Not to scale. Designs may change.

To thank you for your support, we've put together a bunch of rewards inspired by our memories of growing up Filipino American. Think karaoke sing-a-thons in smoky suburban basements; a collection of Pinoy punk, built cassette by cassette on trips to the motherland; home kitchens blessed by jugs of garlicky chile vinegar; and balikbayan boxes overflowing with polvoron, candied pili nuts, and rolls and rolls of Mentos. We hope these small tokens of our affection give you a little taste of the Bad Saint experience.

Risks and challenges

Restaurants are a risky business. There’s no sugar coating that fact. In the past 5-10 years, DC has seen its food scene get increasingly diverse, crowded and competitive. Luckily, what we have to offer – fresh and seasonal Filipino food – is new and unique. Our two successful pop-ups have proven that DC diners have serious Filipino food cravings. We are fortunate to have landed in a fantastic location – 11th Street, NW in Columbia Heights. It’s a part of town that has become a destination commercial strip, for both local residents and folks from all other corners of the District and beyond. Finally, our team has the experience, the connections, the work ethic and the determination to make Bad Saint a success.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    BAD SAINT Playlist

    A link to a Spotify playlist featuring our favorite bands with the words "BAD" and "SAINT". We're talking Color Me Badd, Saint Etienne, Bad Brains, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Saints, Another Bad Creation, Bad Religion, Saint Vitus, Badfinger, Armored Saint, Bad Company, All Saints, Bad Manners, Pale Saints, Utah Saints and more.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Thank You Postcard

    Who doesn't love good mail? A limited edition thank you postcard signed by the Bad Saint crew.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 33 backers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Digital download - Karaoke Mix OR Pinoy Punk Mix

    Your choice: either a mix of our favorite karaoke tracks; or a mix of Filipino 80s punk bands.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Bad Saint Koozie

    Keep your beverages cool and stylish with a Bad Saint neoprene koozie! What did we do before koozies? We really just like the word koozie. Koozie, koozie, koozie.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Bad Saint Bottle Opener

    Think of us every time you use this Bad Saint bottle opener to crack open a cold one. Bottoms up!

    Shipping/delivery included.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 30 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Bad Saint Beer Can Glass

    A bright, fruity saison. A Double IPA hop bomb. A porter you could cut with a knife. Enjoy them all in a Bad Saint 16 oz beer can glass. They'll taste better; we promise.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Bad Saint Beer Can Glass
    **CORRECT LISTING!!**

    A bright, fruity saison. A Double IPA hop bomb. A porter you could cut with a knife. Enjoy them all in a Bad Saint 16 oz beer can glass. They'll taste better; we promise.

    (Shipping included!)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Bad Saint T-shirt

    A t-shirt designed by our very own Nick. You *know* it's gonna be good.

    Shipping/delivery included.

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    Limited 57 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Bottle of "Holy Water" & Karaoke Mix

    A bottle of Bad Saint's "Holy Water" - chile vinegar (Chef Tom's family recipe!) - along with a mix of our favorite karaoke tunes - on a CD and via digital download. Rock the mic in your car, your living room, at the bus stop!

    Shipping/delivery included.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Tickets for 2 to a Lechon Roast

    Yah...you read that right. We're throwing a lechon (whole roasted pig) party for 30 guests. Your contribution gets you seats for 2 and a feast of lechon, side dishes, and - what else? - rice!

    Date, time and location: TBD

    (Gratuity included; alcohol excluded. **See FAQ section.**)

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Bad Saint Skateboard Deck &
    Filipino "Pinoy Punk" Mix

    A custom Bad Saint skateboard deck and a mix of Filipino punk bands from the 80s (on cassette and via digital download.)

    Shipping/delivery included.

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    Limited 9 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!!!

    We’ll host you and a guest for dinner at our soft opening. Come hungry!

    (Gratuity included; alcohol excluded. See FAQ section.)

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Bad Saint Apron, Recipe Card Set
    & Mini Balikbayan Box

    A Bad Saint apron, a set of 2 food recipes by Chef Tom and 1 cocktail recipe from our beverage gurus, and a care package of Filipino snacks and pantry staples.

    Shipping/delivery included.

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    Limited 7 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!!!

    We’ll host you and a guest for dinner at our soft opening. Come hungry!

    (Gratuity included; alcohol excluded. See FAQ section.)

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!!!

    We’ll host you and a guest for dinner at our soft opening. Come hungry!

    (Gratuity included; alcohol excluded. See FAQ section.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Filipino Cooking Box Set &
    Bad Saint Swag Combo

    A curated selection of our favorite Filipino cookbooks, a set of our recipe cards and any 2 items of Bad Saint swag (choose any 2 of the following: t-shirt, bottle opener, apron or skateboard.)

    Shipping/delivery included.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Dinner for 4 at Bad Saint

    Dinner for 4 at the restaurant with a custom menu put together by Chef Tom and your choice of any 4 items of Bad Saint swag. (Choose any 4 of the following: bottle opener, beer can glass, t-shirt, apron or skateboard deck.)

    (Gratuity included; alcohol excluded. **See FAQ section.**)

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)