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What Happens When is a temporary restaurant that will change theme every month for a run of 9 months in New York City.
What Happens When is a temporary restaurant that will change theme every month for a run of 9 months in New York City.
417 backers pledged $24,207 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

We're still dry. Help!

Dear all,

All of us here at What Happens When are so grateful for your support! Backers, we cannot thank you enough for helping get this project started but now we would like to see this project through. If we are unable to obtain an on-site liquor license, since it expired, the project will most likely desist.

We need your help! Please show your support by signing the petition to save What Happens When HERE and help us spread the word. We have a final hearing on June 22 so any support we can rally before then would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, we've just launched Movement 4.5, a Prohibition-themed movement inspired by our recent troubles.

We'll keep you posted.

Eternally grateful for your support,

What Happens When

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What Happens When needs your support to renew our liquor license!

My name is Ron Morgan and I am the general manager at What Happens When. On May 24th the status of our liquor license was changed from active to expired. For the last three weeks our business has suffered. We are working tirelessly to get the license renewed and we have been fortunate enough to be granted a spot on Tuesday's CB2 meeting to make the case that we are a member of the community that treats our neighbors with respect, that we add a truly unique restaurant to a thriving community, and that we employ 30 hardworking professionals. 

We need letters of support to bring before the board.

We need your words so we can keep What Happens When alive.

Please email any notes of support with your name and address to me at

Thanks so much!

Thank you, Backers!

Spring has sprung and we're in the midst of jazz-inspired Movement Four...

...and our Monday female chef series, What Happens When Women Take Over, has been in full swing!

Not to mention that our lovely backyard is now officially open for business. Lots going on here so stay connected with us through our Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you, backers, and here is your wall. Stop by soon! 

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Tea time surprise, Sam Sifton and 18 days!

Greetings backers, friends and muses!

Once again, countless thank yous for helping us fund this project. We wouldn't be where we are today without your support!

And now for a project update of the recent happenings here at 25 Cleveland Place...drumroll, please.

A Restaurant That's Very of the Moment

New York Times restaurant critic, Sam Sifton, gave us a stellar review! Thank you, Mr. Sifton and congratulations to chef John Fraser and our team!

"An appetizer of smoked hen egg, its yolk as bright and as glossy as paint, runs into chicken livers and butternut squash, the dish scented with Serrano ham — a sculpture of winter beneath a piercing sun. Fried frogs’ legs (lollipops, really) come with leeks and potatoes, with mint playing the role of grass in snow. The loamy taste of mushrooms slips into hazelnut, into salsify, into the soft pop of barley: a mouth-feel paradise."

What a picture. Read the review here.

Tea Time Cookie Surprise

What happens when we surprise the Kickstarter team with batches of freshly, baked cookies on a rainy Wednesday afternoon?

Smiles all around!

Emilie and pastry chef Jeff Systma showed up at Kickstarter headquarters with a trio of delectable cookies:

"Oreo" Macaron

chocolate almond flour, vanilla buttercream

Vanilla Shortbread

classic, scottish, butter, flour, vanilla, crumble

Toasted Almond Biscotti

butter, eggs, flour, sugar, almond, lemon zest, calvados

Read Cassie's posting on the Kickstarter blog for deets on the cookie surprise!

Movement 3

With Movement 2 in full swing and the next movement on the horizon, brainstorming has officially begun for Movement 3. We'd really like to go about our next SEVEN months in bigger and better ways, so your pledges mean a lot to us. We have 18 days left until our project is funded on Kickstarter. Help us spread the word! We'd also like you to stay involved with the process (talk to us on Facebook & Twitter), join in on the fun...and for dinner!

Stay tuned...more soon!

-What Happens When

Photos © emiliebaltz

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Movement 2

March 1st marks the beginning of Movement 2 at What Happens When!

Backers, diners, guests and friends: thank you all for your support and invaluable inspiration!

This movement was inspired by backer, Becky Fitzhugh, who shared her childhood memory of searching for comfort foods during winter: a reflection imbued with springtime longing.

"During late winter, occasionally spring days will pop through, when the snow would melt and you could smell the green again."

We fell in love with this image and pushed the fantasy of hunting through winter while bits of spring peek through to new heights. In this movement you’ll find yourself on a whimsical romp through our fantastical forest.  Experience it under Elle’s oversized pine needles and hidden animal tracks, listen to Geek Squad's otherworldly 8-bit jungle beats, and taste John's imaginative, hearty winter flavors.

A combination of "Where the Wild Things Are" and a cabinet of curiosities, Movement 2 is full of earthy surprises. Enjoy!

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