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The Courtyard is expanding! Because winters are long. We're building a new bar in a storied space.
191 backers pledged $12,135 to help bring this project to life.

About

Courtyard & Cellar: A Tap Shop and Patio in Downtown Decorah project video thumbnail
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$12,135

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Background.

The Courtyard was never intended to become a year round deal. Actually, it was never intended to last more than four months. Plans change. 

Courtyard's first week! June 2012.
Courtyard's first week! June 2012.

In the last couple years, The Courtyard has grown into itself a bit. Relaxed and friendly with a serious emphasis on Craft Beer.  Rowdy  weekly Quiz Bowls. Live music. An all-around quality atmosphere. (At least we like to think so!). We're not looking to change any of that.

Quiz Bowl!
Quiz Bowl!

We like the Courtyard pretty much just the way it is! However, as we continue to grow, the constraints of an outdoor-only location are becoming more apparent. An expansion indoors would mean a host of improvements for the general Courtyard experience. Namely: 

-Indoor Plumbing! As in: our own, always accessible, indoor restrooms. Goodbye porta-johns! 

-Growlers(!) and Even More Taps. Your support will help us to build a bigger, better beer fridge downstairs! We'll be adding 8-10 taps to the already ridiculous beer mix and, for the first time, we'll have a set-up equipped for to-go growlers.

-More Live Music (And no Rain-Outs). In previous years, we've been somewhat limited in what touring bands we could book at The Courtyard. Having an indoor/rain location to offer musicians is a huge boost for our scheduling. We'll be able to book even more bands for the Courtyard - knowing we can provide a large indoor location if need be.

-Food. An indoor location will give us the opportunity to offer a limited food menu. No dinner service, but cheese plates, salads, and flights of local jerky? Certainly. And don't let fancy phrases like "local jerky flight" and "plate" lead you astray, we also have a certain affinity for time honored, bar-side frozen pizza.

-Coffee & Wifi.  We have some excellent coffee shops here in Decorah. But none that are open after 5pm. And while there are plenty of great bars, there aren't many where you'd feel comfortable bringing your laptop. One of the great things about this new space? It's got a lot of space. On weekdays, there'll always be room for folks to hunker down with some coffee (or a pint) and get some things done. 

-We'll be open year-round. Kind of buried the lead here! Last, but certainly not least, we'll be able to stay open all year long. 12 months > 6 months. 

Ok, ok. So where is this new bar? 

Downstairs! You know that ivy-covered staircase out on the Courtyard? There is where it leads you: 

Day 1
Day 1

Some of you remember this space. Some of you will be seeing it for the first time. In the last 40 years it's been a lot of things, but it hasn't been anything in a good while. It's gorgeous. But oof - there's going to be plenty of work ahead of us. 

We're hoping to make the renovation of the basement a collaboration between the Armory ownership, ourselves, and you! We're already partway off the ground and we'll be working with the Armory on some permanent improvements in the next couple of weeks. 

On Kickstarter, we're looking to raise $8,172 to help with the 'next-level' build-outs of the space. (That's the population of Decorah per the 2010 census, so if everyone gives a buck or so, we're all set!). Your support will help us build a new keg fridge, sound system, additional seating, and make a host of other improvements to the space. 

In thanks for your support, we've put together a pretty great rewards buffet. There's a Pop-Up dinner with Salt/Water, a hog roast with Rustik Rooster farms of Colbert Report fame, Driftless swag from Ardvar, T-Shirts, growlers, and more! Check them out on your right. 

We're extremely excited about this space and the opportunity to do this year round. We're calling it the Cellar (we think!) and we hope to have the doors open by late February. Thanks and see you soon! 

-Nathan & Benji

Co-Conspirators.

Courtyard & Cellar

Risks and challenges

We've done a good amount of due diligence on this project and we're feeling pretty good about the timeline we've outlines. However, there's definitely going to be some fairly serious construction going on in the next few months and, with that, the possibility of delays.

We're going to be vigilant about staying on schedule and we've built in a little room for delays. We'll be sure keep you all posted on our progress and opening countdown with Kickstarter and Facebook!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    KOOZIE! A high-five and an official, regulation Courtyard Koozie!
    *Koozie and high-five: local pick-up only.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    LAUNCH PARTY. Be first in line to see the new space, before we open up to the public. One invite to the Kickstarter-only Cellar launch party!

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    22 backers
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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    GROWLER. A 64oz branded, amber growler! Empty. (Kickstarter's rules, not ours.)

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DRIFTLESS SHIPPED. Two C&C Koozies and a Driftless print from ARDVAR shipped to your doorstep!

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    Ships to Only United States
    16 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    HOG ROAST. Rustik Rooster farms will be out on the courtyard and roasting up Iowa's famed Swabian Hall Hog - of NY Times and Colbert Report fame! Kind of a big deal. Fixings included. Saturday, June 14th.

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    Limited 3 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    T-SHIRT! One dapper Courtyard & Cellar T! Along with a koozie and an invite to the Launch Party.

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    31 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    HOG ROAST + GROWLER A ticket to the Swabian Hog roast and a branded C&C growler!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    DRIFTLESS DAYPACK. 5 pieces of ridiculously good New Albin beef jerky - just like we'll be serving at the bar! Plus: a growler, an ARDVAR Driftless Watershed print, and an invite to our Launch Party Spectacular. It's a veritable bundle!

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    4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    HOG ROAST x2. Two tickets to the Rustik Rooster Farm's hog roast! Saturday, June 14th. (Check out the NYTimes video here! http://bit.ly/1d3B6X4)

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    Limited 22 backers
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    DRIFTLESS SHIPPED. Supporting from afar? Grab the whole Driftles Daypack (Jerky, Growler, and Watershed Print.) shipped anywhere in the USA.

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    8 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    SALT/WATER. We'll be hosting Chef Justin Scardina's pop-up restaurant! Justin will be creating a multi-course extravaganza based around the history of the Armory. A meal to remember. Plus, an invite to the Launch Party!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    SALT/WATER FOR TWO Two tickets to Justin Scardina's pop-up! Plus, two invites to the Launch Party.

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    Reward no longer available 23 backers
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES. You're on the list! You'll get guest-list status - with a plus one - for EVERY concert we host at The Courtyard this Summer. Plus, two invites to the Launch Party.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    LEFSE PARTY. Little known fact: Prior to The Courtyard, C&C co-owner Nathan Matter gave a brief spin to commercial lefse production. We'll break the rolling pin out of storage and provide you with two church-basement sized lefse platters for your next lefse-requiring special occasion! Includes 40 pieces of traditional lefse and 30 pieces of the famed (and vegan!) Sweet Potato lefse. Redeemable any time in 2014, 3 weeks notice required. PLUS 2 invites to the Launch Party, a C&C t-shirt, and a C&C Growler!

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    IT ALL SOUNDS GREAT. Can't choose between the previously listed rewards? Don't! Grab 2 tickets to Salt/Water, 2 seats at the Hog Roast, 2 invites to the Launch Party, a C&C Growler, a C&C T-Shirt, an ARDVAR Driftless Print, and 'guest list' status - w/ a 'plus one' - for EVERY concert we host at The Courtyard this Summer. Uff da.

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    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    HOG ROAST DELUXE. Want to travel to Decorah to attend our aforementioned Swabian Hall hog roast? Get two tickets to the Hog Roast, and we'll put you up for the Weekend. (In a B&B, you don't have to sleep behind the bar.) Plus, two growlers to take home!

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    PRESENTED BY.... Sponsorship rights for our entire Summer music line-up! Every Courtyard show in 2014 will bear you, or your business', name!
    E.G.: "The Viking Accordion Band presented by

    ".

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

    C&C VIP EXPERIENCE. We'll shut the Cellar down and roll out the pickled herring for you and 10 of your friends in an exclusive personalized experience.

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    Pledge $2,015 or more About $2,015

    NEW YEARS EVE 2014-15! That's right - you and 100 guests get The Cellar for a private NYE party tailored to your liking. We'll provide hor d'oeuvres, ambiance, and party favors, and work with you on the details. (Beverages not included. Kickstarter's rules, not ours.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)