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News: How a failed restaurant became Cambridge’s hottest Thursday spot

 

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by Weronika Naklicka in News
June 30, 2018 0 comments

This is a story about a Cambridge restaurant that never managed to attract investors, secure a location, or even open its doors. And in failing to do all that, it spawned one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial gatherings anywhere in the world — a blueprint that has now been replicated in Rotterdam, Miami, and Tokyo.

The restaurant was going to be called Watson and Bell, named in honour of the legendary lab assistant and his boss, the inventor of the telephone. What it became is a nonprofit organization called the Venture Café, which gives away keg upon keg of free beer as a way to bring together the city’s startup tribe for discussions about emergent trends and technologies, demos of not-yet-launched products, and advice from investors and seasoned entrepreneurs.

Bild könnte enthalten: eine oder mehrere Personen und Personen, die sitzen

The Venture Café is only open on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. But on a busy Thursday, it hosts more people than most of the hottest restaurants in town: Average attendance is north of 500 people, and a particularly good night stretches past 800, according to Chandra Briggman, director of the Venture Café in Kendall Square. By her estimate, more than 42,000 people have visited since it opened in 2010.

Bild könnte enthalten: 2 Personen, Personen, die stehen und Innenbereich

“The business model is simple: alcohol and good programming,” says Sierra Flanigan, a sustainability consultant in Boston, referring to the speakers and sessions served up each Thursday. Topics can range from food to finance to the “earth night” environmental sessions that Flanigan organizes. The result is a little bit like “Cheers,” a little bit like a high school science fair, a little bit like the “Star Wars” cantina.

Click here to read on the article of in the Boston Globe and get to know the story of Venture Café!

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Comments on News: How a failed restaurant became Cambridge’s hottest Thursday spot

 

Stay up to date with our weekly program

get inspired
Every week we host our Thursday Gathering from 17:00-20:00 full of interesting programming. Feel free to drop by any time on a Thursday!