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Help us fund our innovative and community-focused fine-dining restaurant and urban garden opening in Ivy City, D.C. #GravitasDC
Help us fund our innovative and community-focused fine-dining restaurant and urban garden opening in Ivy City, D.C. #GravitasDC
108 backers pledged $36,594 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$36,594

108

Gravitas rendering of the dining room
Gravitas rendering of the dining room

The Plan

Gravitas is an innovative Modern American restaurant by Chef Matt Baker. Sourcing products from local farms and waters, Gravitas highlights the abundant resources of the Chesapeake. By providing seasonal, delicious, thoughtfully-prepared food from around our region, we hope to inspire diners to pay closer attention to each meal and each other, in order to further strengthen the fabric of each experience.

In the kitchen, Chef Matt will create an atmosphere of learning and individual development. Believing that the stronger his cooks become, the more possibilities and higher level of cooking we can achieve at Gravitas. The Company will work tirelessly to raise awareness of important local food trends and concerns, to include not only ‘green’ sustainable food practices, but also local childhood food insecurity and nutrition. We intend to assist the local DC community with setting up community gardens, empowering local farmers markets to expand and continuing to partner with valuable companies that share our beliefs.

According to Ancient Roman virtues and beliefs, Gravitas denotes piety, dignity, responsibility and earnestness. With solemnity and importance, we pledge to treat ingredients and the local community with respect and integrity. Through food service, hospitality and community outreach, we pledge to continuously learn, improve and teach with a sense of importance of the matter at hand.

Your Help!

The aim of our Kickstarter campaign is to get some additional help with raising the necessary funds to make our dream a reality. The funds raised by this campaign will be used to pay initial start-up costs related to our greenhouse bar and urban garden. Having the funds to do the garden build-out upon the opening of Gravitas will allow us to work more sustainably in the kitchen (can you get a lower carbon footprint?), host private events in our rooftop greenhouse bar and employ some additional folks in our operations (hopefully those with green thumbs).

Even if you’re not able to contribute, if you could help us out by sharing the Kickstarter campaign with your family and friends, we would be eternally grateful. The more people who know about it, the better chance we have of succeeding! Thank for your time and we look forward to seeing you at Gravitas!

#Gravitas #GravitasDC #IvyCity #IvyCityDC

Gravitas rendering of the exterior
Gravitas rendering of the exterior

 

Gravitas pop-up at One Eight Distilling
Gravitas pop-up at One Eight Distilling

 

Gravitas + Chef's Garden Event
Gravitas + Chef's Garden Event

 

Gravitas pop-up at One Eight Distilling
Gravitas pop-up at One Eight Distilling

 

Gravitas pop-up at Republic Restoratives
Gravitas pop-up at Republic Restoratives

Gravitas will be operating in the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and will truly embrace the "farm to table" movement with our rooftop garden. Our urban farm and greenhouse will accommodate raised garden beds, innovative hydroponic towers and a rainwater collection system. Chef Matt has teamed up with a local farmer and gardener who will bring his passion and expertise to the Gravitas team.

Rooftop Garden and Vegetable Dishes
Rooftop Garden and Vegetable Dishes

Our neighborhood is filled with like-minded, small business entrepreneurs (who also love great food and drinks!) and is emerging as  one of the fastest growing areas in the region. With Gravitas, we hope to maintain Ivy City's unique charm and will work towards fostering a deep devotion to our community.

Ivy City - Courtesy of The Washington Post
Ivy City - Courtesy of The Washington Post

 

We seek to encourage sustainability practices, cultivate long-term economic growth for our small business partners, and foster a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. With Chef Matt's involvement in local charities, Gravitas will provide professional culinary training and opportunities at no cost to local residents and students. In fact, a big part of Gravtias' mission is paying it forward.

Chef Matt volunteering with Brainfood
Chef Matt volunteering with Brainfood

 

Chef Matt volunteering with MicroGreens
Chef Matt volunteering with MicroGreens

Amazingly-delicious, beautifully-plated food? Yes please. Gravitas' innovative fine-dining adventure will never feel stuffy or formal. The team at Gravitas has a palpating vigor for life and is thrilled to cater each guest experience to your individual uniqueness. The remarkable, quirky and peculiar are always welcome.

Gravitas pop-up at Mess Hall
Gravitas pop-up at Mess Hall

 

Gravitas pop-up at One Eight Distilling
Gravitas pop-up at One Eight Distilling

 

Gravitas pop-up at Mess Hall
Gravitas pop-up at Mess Hall

 

Gravitas pop-up at Jos A Magnus
Gravitas pop-up at Jos A Magnus

The Reason 

What sets Chef Matt and the Gravitas concept apart is the consistent passion for cuisine, hospitality and all things local. The experience of food and dining always comes first. It's always been Chef Matt's goal to have his own restaurant - something that is truly the culmination of his ideals, travels, and hopes for the future. Now is the time that can perfectly be achieved. Chef Matt didn't want to try for it too soon when he was still wanting for industry experience, but also not wait too long and leave this amazing opportunity on the table. Ivy City is the neighborhood and DC is finally home.

Growing up in Houston, Texas, he assisted with preparing cookies and pies with his Grandmother, which led to an enthusiastic enrollment at Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Florida. After doing the industry rounds in some of the best restaurants in South Beach, in 2009, he travelled to Singapore as the opening Executive Chef at Krish. It was at Krish that Chef Matt began making a name for himself in the kitchen, being named by Time as "The Country's Hottest Chef".

Wine & Dine - Singapore
Wine & Dine - Singapore

 

Chef Matt has worked alongside some of DC's great Chefs including  Robert Wiedmaier and Brian McBride.Throughout the years, Chef Matt has won numerous accolades and has been recognized globally for his cooking. In 2015, Zagat named Chef Matt in its first ever D.C. Top 30 Under 30.

Gravitas + Chef's Garden Event
Gravitas + Chef's Garden Event

 

Gravitas pop-up at Mess Hall
Gravitas pop-up at Mess Hall

Chef Matt's approach to food is pretty simple. Thoughtfully-prepared, locally-sourced deliciousness. Paying homage to both old school and innovative techniques, his plating and flavor combinations are unique and tasty. His food could be described as New American or Modern American, which essentially means a blank canvas... and we like it that way. Chef Matt values his relationships with local purveyors and commits to work with only the best food suppliers across the Chesapeake.

 

 

 

 

Rewards

We've tried to put a range of rewards available during our campaign in order to appeal to as many people as possible. That being said, we appreciate feedback! We'd love to hear from you if you'd like us to add additional rewards that may interest you.

Risks and challenges

Opening an ambitious restaurant in an underserved community is not without risk. The largest challenges we face are not exclusive to the restaurant industry and include the potential of lower than anticipated foot traffic, leading to lower than expected sales. Our sales volume and traffic may be adversely affected by, among other things, the economic downturn nationally or regionally; changes in consumer demographics; or the constraint or downturn of investment in our Ivy City neighborhood. However, based on our understanding of the market and the positive press we've already received from the Gravitas concept, we are confident our team will be able to manage these risks.

Our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, train and retain a sufficient number of quality team members, who understand and appreciate our culture and are able to represent our brand effectively and establish credibility with our customers. Any failure to meet our staffing needs or any material increases in turnover rates could have an adverse effect on our business. This risk is standard across the restaurant industry. Based on our inclusive, welcoming, hospitable culture, as well as Chef Matt's exuberance and ability to train and mentor, we are confident our team will be able to manage these risks.

These risks are only mitigated by our community's belief in our ability, which is why crowdsourcing through Kickstarter is so important in bringing this project to life.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Virtual Hug

    SPREAD THE WORD.
    Any contribution counts toward the opening of Gravitas. Includes a Twitter and Facebook shout out from the Gravitas Team, along with our sincere appreciation!

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    6 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    NEW! Gravitas T-Shirts

    Just made, Gravitas T-Shirts with our logo on the front and our name on the back. When you order, you can select which size you would like.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 11 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Gravitas Rooftop Garden Basket

    HARVEST BASKET - FALL.
    Chef Matt and Gardener Tim can't wait to share their rooftop bounty. Includes a medium-sized farmers market-style basket of fruits, vegetables and herbs grown on our urban rooftop garden. Ivy City's finest. Pickup at Gravitas - dates TBD, or we'd be happy to ship them to you at an additional cost. Just let us know!

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    Limited 14 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Gravitas Rooftop Garden Basket

    HARVEST BASKET - SPRING.
    Chef Matt and Gardener Tim can't wait to share their rooftop bounty. Includes a medium-sized farmers market-style basket of fruits, vegetables and herbs grown on our urban rooftop garden. Ivy City's finest. Pickup at Gravitas - dates TBD, or we'd be happy to ship them to you at an additional cost. Just let us know!

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    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Afternoon with Gardener Tim

    GREEN WITH ENVY.
    Enjoy the literal fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. Spend the afternoon working with Tim, our full-time gardener, on the urban rooftop garden at Gravitas. Includes a chef-prepared 3-course lunch, that utilizes some of the ingredients you helped harvest! Food and non-alcoholic beverages included. Inclusive of tax and gratuity.

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    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Cooking Class and Lunch at Gravitas

    SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS.
    Chef Matt really likes to cook. So much so he'd like to invite you into the Gravitas kitchen to learn a few tricks of the trade so you can show off at your next dinner party. Includes admission for one to an upcoming cooking class at Gravitas and a chef-prepared 2-course lunch. Dates and details to follow. Food and non-alcoholic beverages included. Inclusive of tax and gratuity.

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    Limited 6 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Chef's Tasting Menu for Two

    EARLY BIRD - SPECIAL PRICING.
    Special pricing for our Chef's tasting menu for two.Come enjoy a super special meal on us! Includes a 4-course dinner for two at Gravitas. Food and non-alcoholic beverages included. Inclusive of tax and gratuity.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $170 or more About $170

    Chef's Tasting Menu for Two

    DINE WITH US.
    Come enjoy a super special meal on us! Includes a 4-course dinner for two at Gravitas. Food and non-alcoholic beverages included. Inclusive of tax and gratuity.

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    Limited 21 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Opening Party Ticket for One

    SNEAK PEEK.
    Picture this. You are attending one of the most anticipated DC restaurant openings surrounded by chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and other restaurant industry insiders. You're enjoying thoughtfully-prepared, locally-sourced appetizers and snacks while your super envious friends follow Your Story on Instagram. Dream = Reality. Includes one ticket to the Gravitas friends and family opening party. Date and details to follow.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $280 or more About $280

    Chef's Counter Dinner for Two

    EARLY BIRD - SPECIAL PRICING.
    Special pricing of our Chef's Counter.
    Interactive dining experiences your thing? Thrilled by the heat, energy and excitement of a new restaurant? Join Chef Matt and his team in the most intimate of settings, the Chef's Counter at Gravitas. Includes an 15-course dinner for two, food and non-alcoholic beverages included. Inclusive of tax and gratuity. Give the gift of (really good) food to friends and family!

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Chef's Counter Dinner for Two

    TWOS COMPANY.
    Interactive dining experiences your thing? Thrilled by the heat, energy and excitement of a new restaurant? Join Chef Matt and his team in the most intimate of settings, the Chef's Counter at Gravitas. Includes an 15-course dinner for two, food and non-alcoholic beverages included. Inclusive of tax and gratuity. Give the gift of (really good) food to friends and family!

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    Limited 16 backers
    $
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,800 or more About $1,800

    Private Chef Dinner for Eight

    CHEF - AT HOME.
    Question: Who wants a chef-catered, 4-course dinner in the comfort of their own home?
    Answer: You.

    Experience a 4-course vegetarian or chef's tasting menu for you and seven of your closest friends, colleagues, mere acquaintances, Tinder dates, whomever. Regardless, it will be a good time. Includes food and non-alcoholic beverages. DC-area only unless you'd like to fly our team to your location. Have bags. Will travel (especially to Italy).

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,200 or more About $4,200

    Private Party at Gravitas

    PARTY TIME.
    So, we were thinking. There might be a few of you who'd really like to spoil your employees for Christmas this year. Maybe there's an upcoming celebration you'd like to host at the hottest new DC restaurant. Or perhaps it's just a Tuesday and you wanted to ball out of control. Trust me. We all do. Includes a 12-course vegetarian or chef's tasting menu for sixteen. Includes food and non-alcoholic beverages. Pinky rings optional.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Winner Winner Chef's Tasting Dinner

    NEW BEST FRIEND.
    Use your Gravitas credit to:
    A - Host a private event on our rooftop garden.
    B - Attend cooking demos, charity events, exclusive previews, and other Gravitas-sponsored ticketed events.
    C - Impress your Mother.

    Your reward includes $10,000 to spend on food experiences (food and non-alcoholic beverages) at Gravitas... and an eternally grateful Chef. We weren't kidding about the bestie part. Come hang out with us at the pass any time. Instant VIP status. Inclusive of tax and gratuity. Never expires but cannot be redeemed for cash.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (45 days)