The teams behind popular wine bar Rebel Rebel and sunny Roxbury spot Dudley Cafe are making expansion moves — and they’re turning to crowdfunding to fund their plans.
Lauren Friel, the sommelier and owner of two spots in Somerville’s Bow Market — Rebel Rebel and its sibling, bookshop and events space Wild Child upstairs — plans to move Wild Child out of Bow Market and into a Victorian-style retail outlet just outside the market. The new, larger space will see Wild Child expand into a full-fledged bottle shop and be able to host more events, according to a store representative.
Across town, the nearly decade-old Dudley Cafe in Roxbury has announced plans to expand to Cambridge at 1663 Massachusetts Avenue on the corner of Wendell Street between Harvard Square and Porter Square. The café, run by co-owners Rokeya and Solmon Chowdhury, is a popular daytime restaurant and social space known for its well-prepared breakfast and lunch menu, including rice bowls, salads, and a superb breakfast sandwich.
In both cases, the owners crowdfund the new projects. Friel, who also co-owns chart-topping wine bar Dear Annie, is raising $50,000 to cover the cost of a $150,000 liquor license for Wild Child’s new store. The Chowdhurys raise $35,000 to help open their Cambridge location. For both campaigns, backers will receive credit towards future purchases at the stores when they open.
The crowdfunding campaigns are being hosted by NuMarket, a Boston-based platform that many local restaurants and retail outlets have used to raise funds for their businesses, including dumpling destination Mei Mei and the Mushroom Shop in Somerville. Earlier this year, veteran bartender Will Isaza, who runs high-profile bars like Blossom Bar in Brookline and Birds of Paradise in Brighton, launched a crowdfunding campaign on NuMarket to fund his first solo project, a coffee bar in East Boston. For some, crowdfunding is a more attractive alternative to acquiring outside investors because it allows owners to raise money while maintaining control of the business, Isaza Eater said in February.
Wild Child’s fundraising campaign will run for the next three weeks; while Dudley Cafe’s just launched campaign is open for the next month.
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