Clementine is closed the week of July 17 to to July 23, 2017
From the Baltimore Sun....
A year after closing, Clementine's owners seek to reopen their restaurant
Clementine';s owners are looking to reopen the Hamilton restaurant after they closed it last year to focus on their catering business.
(Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)
Clementine looks to reopen a year after the Hamilton restaurant closed.
For more than a year, Clementine owner Winston Blick has watched would-be customers come to the door of his shuttered restaurant, only to find the space is closed. Now, the Hamilton restaurant is working to reopen its doors to the dining public.
Clementine closed in August 2015 so that Blick and his wife, Cristin Dadant, could focus on the catering arm of their business. Still working out of the empty restaurant at 5402 Harford Road, it wasn't long before Blick started feeling there was something missing.
"You don’t realize how much people appreciate you or how much you appreciate something until it’s gone," he said. "So we started realizing that immediately."
Blick is aiming to reopen the restaurant by Thanksgiving, on the condition the restaurant can raise $40,000 before then. Clementine launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds, which Blick said will go mostly toward amassing inventory and touching up the space with fresh paint and decor.
"We don’t want to just open up as the old Clementine," Blick said.
Although the philosophy behind Clementine's sustainably sourced ingredients (including the charcuterie) will remain the same when it reopens, diners will notice some changes. The restaurant restructured its business plan after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, and Blick said Clementine will focus more on turning a profit as it gets up and running again.
The restaurant brought on a new business partner, whom Blick declined to name, to help keep the restaurant financially viable.
When Clementine reopens, the restaurant will have a renewed focus on its bar program, and the space will also house a retail section for local libations — a provision its liquor license has always allowed, but one on which the owners did not capitalize before.
"It’s not changing," Blick said. "It’s kind of version 2.0."
The restaurant will seat about 75 when it reopens, down from 89, as some of the space will be dedicated to retail.
"It’s a neat challenge and it’s fun," Blick said. "I mean it’s almost doing a new one, and it’s also a second chance to do it right. And that doesn’t happen often."
Copyright © 2016, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication |
AND Baltimore Magazine...
Chef Winston Blick Discusses Reopening Clementine
After closing for a year to focus on catering, the chef/owner says it’s time to “fill the void.”
By Lauren Cohen. Posted on October 26, 2016, 2:31 pm
Though chef Winston Blick and his wife, Cristin Dadant, have been running their catering business out of the kitchen of their restaurant on Harford Road since it closed last summer, it hasn’t been the same without a crowded dining room.
“It’s weird,” Blick says. “We used to do catering tastings on Friday evenings when it was loud and bustling, and now we do them for people in an empty restaurant.”
After making the decision to close in July of 2015 to focus on their catering services, the husband-and-wife owners are now vowing to reopen Clementine—the homey comfort food spot in Hamilton-Lauraville known for its generously portioned, locally sourced dishes.
The owners have established a GoFundMe campaign with the hope of raising $40,000 for replenishing inventory and upgrading the interior, and plan to reopen by Thanksgiving.
“You can feel the void,” Blick says. “We can feel it in us, the community feels it, and we need to fill it. I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed feeding the community. It’s really satisfying, and it’s one of the few ways to make people really happy and content.”
Blick says that part of the reason for Clementine’s closure was financial, mentioning that, this time around, he has hired a chief financial officer and restructured the restaurant’s business plan in order for it to be more profitable.
“In the restaurant world, places are either opened by chefs who don’t know money or people with money who don’t know food, and that’s why they fail,” he says. “I’m not a business man, I’m a food guy. So having that help gives us great hope.”
Though the 75-seat restaurant will be still be a hub for locals to enjoy carefully curated charcuterie plates and comfort cuisine sourced from area farms (some of Blick’s classics include bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Asian-braised pork cheeks, and gouda mashed potatoes), the owners are eager to implement a few upgrades.
Among them will be the addition of a retail section up front, showcasing a growler-filling station and prepared foods similar to the comestibles at Blick’s nearby Green Onion Market.
He also wants Clementine to be more of a nightlife destination in its second phase. He plans to put more of an emphasis on the bar program—highlighting craft beers, ciders, wines, and spirits—and offer extended evening hours with trivia and live music.
The renewed focus on the bar also means that Clementine will downsize its portions, offering a more casual menu of small plates.
“We’ve been known as the big plate place for a long time,” Blick says with a laugh. “Now we’re just going to offer smaller versions of the classics. It’s a way for us to change with the times without changing our core philosophy.”
As the dining scene in Hamilton-Lauraville continues to grow (the in-the-works SoHa Union development is slated to debut a new spinoff from the owners of Maggie’s Farm in 2017), Blick is excited to pick up where Clementine left off.
“It’s going to look and feel like Clementine, we just want to freshen it up,” he says. “There’s only one second chance, so we want to be smart about it and serve the community right.”
410.444.1497 * bonafide good food * www.clementinebaltimore.com
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There is free neighborhood parking in what looks like the CVS lot across the street. It is actually a neighborhood business lot. There is also free parking in the parking lot behind St. Dominic's just across the cross street we are on, Gibbon Ave.
5402 Harford Rd Baltimore, MD 21214