Bad Saint Kickstarter Launched – Hoping to Raise $38,500 for Filipino Restaurant coming to Columbia Heights

3226 11th Street, NW

Bad Saint‘s kickstarter says:

“Bad Saint is a 25-seat restaurant taking a fresh and seasonal approach to traditional Filipino food. This spring, we are joining a strip of independent local businesses on 11th Street, NW in the diverse, dynamic neighborhood of Columbia Heights in Washington, DC. Our menu will celebrate the full range of eats on the Filipino table – humble homey favorites, snacks, regional specialties, and fiesta (celebration) dishes. The restaurant will showcase what Filipinos are famous for: food obsession, warm hospitality, and good times. Come as you are, and definitely come hungry.

Like Thai, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian cuisines, the essential flavors of Filipino food are sweet, sour and salty. As you might expect, there will be food for meat-etarians, like adobo (meat braised with soy, vinegar and garlic), kare kare (oxtail stew) and lumpiang shanghai (pork spring rolls). Our approach will also highlight seasonal seafood and vegetables, important parts of the Philippine diet. Sour tamarind soup with prawns, stir fried water spinach, crabs simmered in coconut milk and chiles, and smoky grilled eggplant…and there’s lots more where that came from! With a diverse menu, including options for vegetarians and vegans, there will be something for everyone. To wash it all down, we’ll have an eclectic and food-friendly selection of cocktails, beer and wine.

The first thing you hear upon entering any Filipino home is:

Kumain na kayo? “Have you eaten yet?”

At Bad Saint, we are creating a casual neighborhood restaurant that evokes the experience of eating in a Filipino home. We want you to feel like you have walked into a bumpin’ Filipino family party – gracious, down-to-earth hospitality, seriously craveable food, and yummy drinks in a disarming and convivial setting.”

If you’d like, you can contribute here.

63 Comment

  • I strangely thought this venture was further along than having a kickstarter to raise capital.

    • Seriously
      that was my first thought
      i was under the impression the ball was already rolling… ie. if the construction hadnt started it was scheduled to begin soon

      • epric002

        agree with both of these. i really enjoy filipino food (lived there when i was a kid) and was excited about this, but had no idea that they were going to go the kickstarter route. not a fan of that at all.

  • orderedchaos

    That place sounds fantastic! Good mix of people involved too.

    Sadly their Kickstarter rewards are strangely expensive, like they didn’t research other restaurant campaigns: $50 for a bottle opener, $5,000 for a four-person customized dinner (!!!), etc. Give people an opportunity to back, for example, a dinner for two for a hundred bucks and they’d get a lot more interest.

  • jim_ed

    I’m so done with restaurants doing kickstarters to beg for money as if opening a place in one of DC’s hottest restaurant rows is doing us some sort of favor. Its one thing if you’re opening in an underserved part of town where banks won’t lend you money because of the risk, but here? Come on. Either take your ass to the bank and get a loan or find more investors who will get a piece of the equity instead of trying to rely on your customers to finance your projects with these absurdly terrible rewards. I mean, 5 large and you won’t even cover alcohol and tip? If anyone wants to give me $5k towards home improvements, I’ll gladly cook you dinner for a week and you can drain my bar to the last drop.

    • Message!

    • Although I passed on the investment opportunity, I am in favor of the kind of deal offered by Slim’s Diner in Petworth – offering shares in a restaurant in exchange for financial contributions. Assuming things go well, you get paid back in a few years and after that continue to get some small portion of the profits. It’s certainly nothing that will make you rich (the shares are captive and can’t be sold to anyone but another shareholder). But it’s a better deal than giving someone $5000 in exchange for a nice dinner or two.

        • The business plan for Slim’s also assures you that the owner has thought about what they need to do to make the placed profitable and that the assumptions they are making are reasonable.

      • There are many complicated restrictions (ensuring investors are qualified) and requirements (generating regular financial reports) on offering shares in a business to the public. Not sure what Slim’s Diner is doing but if they’re offering shares to non-qualified-investors they are running a very real risk of getting a call from Karl Racine to discuss what they’re doing. Also, it’s very, very expensive to administer a bunch of small equity investments.

        • I believe in many places (not sure about DC) this model can potentially impact liquor licenses as well if anyone with an ownership stake doesn’t pass certain background requirements.

        • I don’t believe that all of the rules you are referring to apply to limited liability partnerships, which is what Slim’s Diner will be.
          I’m going to go out on a limb and say that since the owner has done this with other restaurants, whatever needs to be done to make sure it is on the up and up is being done.

      • The issue is investor regulations. You need to be a “qualified investor” to get a piece of the equity, yes?
        Remember, we had to implement such regulations because fly-by-night con artists were stealing money from middle class people under the guise of “equity investments” back in the good ‘ol days. Widows and orphans and all that…

        • justinbc

          It worked for Maketto via Fundrise.

          • Fundrise is a registered and SEC compliant investment vehicle, IIRC. I think the JOBS Act loosened up certain investor requirements to allow middlemen like Fundrise to offer “local” equity investments to the public.

          • justinbc

            Yep, just saying there is a legitimate vehicle out there for businesses wanting to offer a real return to investors, rather than coasters and post cards.

        • You don’t necessarily need to be a “qualified investor” to invest in an LLC. Small LLCs are typically exempt from federal and state securities laws.

    • justinbc

      +all of my imaginary points for the week

    • How hard is it to get a loan to open up a restaurant? Especially if you don’t have a track record in the industry. I think it would be a hail mary…

      But yes, I agree with your point. I would be a little more sympathetic if they were trying to open a restaurant in a more affordable/less “hot” area than 11th St.

    • Accountering

      Uhhh.. I am just going to +1. I have no clue why people donate money to for profit businesses. Donate money after they are open and charging $8 for a beer haha.
      Also, I lol’ed at your last sentence. Well played sir… Well played.

    • +1000. jim-ed the anti-justin.

    • Preach. Jim_ed, I wish I had half your ability to lay the verbal smackdown. Continuously crack up at your take on BS like this in DC.

  • It looks like the work that the space needed was a lot more than they anticipated? I like the restaurant idea and want to support locally owned business, so I don’t want to say anything negative. But 75$ for a t-shirt?

  • Honest question: why don’t these restaurant kick-starters give something that folks actually want–i.e., a discount on future purchases? For example, if they were to offer (an example, not sure the precise economics), a $300 tab/gift card for $200, I’d likely buy it. (For a spot closer to my house–like the Chinese spot going into the old Vegetate location on 9th, I’d go a lot higher). Although I can see the appeal from the restaurant’s perspective of getting what amount to donations (to support a for-profit business), if they truly needed funds now, pre-selling at a discount some of their eventual product would be attractive to future customers. But perhaps the Groupon kind of experience has been so heavily rejected by folks that no one would consider this?

    • Traditionally I think that is what they do. Kickstarter projects are more typically pre-purchases rather than donations and are often at a discount compared to the price when the product/restaurant is finally released.
      As mentioned above crowd funded restaurants are more common in somewhere underserved. Maybe if they wanted to open on upper GA or Kennedy Street. Or even 14th by the bus barn. But 11th Street?

    • justinbc

      Because they’re greedy.

    • Accountering

      If you could get someone to give you money for free… wouldn’t you?
      I should have started a kickstarter for my renovation in Shaw. Helping the neighborhood…. more eyes on the street…. improving my neighbors property values… Disregarding the fact that the money I am putting into it will more than pay for itself in the form of increased property value/future income streams for me. That is how investing goes, you put money in, with the expectations of future returns. The fact these guys have figured out a medium where other people put in money, to give future returns to the restaurant owners, is pretty genius. Bravo.

  • Can we get a Kickstarter going to get El Riconcito Deportivo back instead?

  • Two sold-out popups at $60 per person wasn’t enough? They aren’t getting a loan because this is effectively free money, while banks charge interest. This is stupid.

  • justinbc

    I really hope their pop-up at Dolcezza / Union Market was no indication of what the actual restaurant will be like. It wasn’t just disappointing, some of the stuff was almost inedible it was prepared so poorly. The nostalgia from Filipinos wanting something to remind them of home cooked food will only last so long until they stop supporting them as well.

  • I’m excited about this place and really don’t mind giving some money upfront to any establishment that will add something to my neighborhood, but I agree that the rewards are underwhelming to say the least and that tiered, marked-up pre-purchases probably would have been a better way to go.

  • Well the kickstarter seems to be slowly chugging along, but here’s a hot tip for the owner’s if they’re reading this: Now’s the time to chime in and explain why you really need/deserve a 38k gift from people so they have the privilege of buying 8$ beers in the future.

  • I’m seriously cracking up about their “limited edition thank you post card” award that has no limit on the number of people who can claim it. What a joke.

  • From my (limited) experience, it is really hard to get a bank loan or investors for a restaurant that only seats 25 people, even if you are already established. Especially with all the restaurants opening up these days. It is hard to make any money at all at that size especially if is is food focused and not bar focused. If they can get funding though crowdsourcing, then good for them if it helps their dream. Yes these rewards are not for me, but they are a hell of a lot cheaper and better than Frenchie’s and Chao Ku which were both successfully funded. Disclosure: I donated to Roses Luxury, Frenchies, Chao Ku and Mason Dixie and will probably donate to Bad Saint

    • Why do you donate to for-profit restaurants?

      • Everyone needs help to achieve goals and live their dreams. I am very happy to support them and watch them grow, and in return, they will give back to the community in many different ways. I appreciate everyone who has helped me financially to achieve my goal to own my own business. I believe in small business. It is a critical component to the strength of local communities.

  • I don’t have an issue with Kickstarter campaigns… The enthusiasm for the place to open speaks to how desired this cuisine is… Did I think they were doing a kickstarter? No. But I don’t mind. Granted, this is a bit more established strip than say in Petworth or further up 14th St in Columbia Heights, but if there is a desire to make contributions then the market will dictate if they reach their goal or not. I personally think they will do extraordinarily well once it opens.

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