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Clever Crow Pizza Plans Restaurant Expansion

Walker Evans Walker Evans Clever Crow Pizza Plans Restaurant Expansion
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You’ve probably already been enjoying Clever Crow Pizza for the past two years despite them not having a restaurant to call their own. (And if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to fix that quickly.) A true story of bootstrapping a business, husband-and-wife owners Gary and Brooke Robinette started things off in the back room of the Circus Bar and later grew into a vendor stall at The North Market. But what they have planned next has really been their master plan all along.

“Our plan has always been to open a full service restaurant, we just never had the money to do it,” says Brooke. “We thought that if we started small we could start saving to open our own thing, but that just does not seem to be working out for us.”

Instead, the duo is turning to crowdfunding through Kickstarter with a goal of raising $25,000 in a month by promising pizza coupons, private dinners, cooking classes and more to those willing to contribute.

“We feel really strange about starting a Kickstarter project,” says Brooke. “Asking people for money is definitely an awkward thing. But, we have seen a few people have success with it here in town and we thought we might as well give it a shot. We fully expect it not to work, but we’ve got nothing to lose.”

[Edit 9/13/12: The Kickstarter project has been cancelled.]

If the funds can be raised, Gary and Brooke have their eyes set on a few restaurant locations in the Dublin, Worthington, Powell and Upper Arlington areas.

“We are looking in the suburbs because we want a family friendly atmosphere,” explained Brooke. “We don’t want it to be stuffy and hip. We just want a fun place to hang out, and have good drinks and food. Also, we want plenty of parking.”

The suburban location would complement their existing urban locations at the North Market Downtown and Circus in The Short North, which have garnered a supportive fan base, but aren’t without their challenges.

“Business at the North Market has been good, but the hours at the market are not that great for us,” said Brooke. “Not many people are looking to eat pizza at nine in the morning and some of our customers get frustrated that we have to close so early.”

If the funds are raised and the project moves forward, the new Clever Crow restaurant could be open as early as Spring 2013. If the fundraiser fails, Brooke says that its back to the drawing board.

“I really want to make the best pizza in the world,” she said. “That’s my goal.”

You can donate to the Clever Crow Kickstarter Campaign at www.kickstarter.com.

[Edit 9/13/12: The Kickstarter project has been cancelled.]

More information can be found online at www.clevercrowpizza.com.

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