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Drinks Over Dearborn, Facing Closure, Starts Creative Capital Fundraising Plan

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 17, 2010 3:00PM

2009_05_boozehound.jpg Ever since Kyle McHugh opened Drinks Over Dearborn in late 2008, he's weathered a series of misfortunes that would have Job shaking his head in empathy. McHugh has dealt with health issues, shrinking consumer budgets in a recessionary economy and the major problem of being a boutique liquor store in an office building in River North that requires a buzzer to enter. That last issue is the one we find most endearing about DoD, and the main reason we compare going there to visiting a speakeasy.

With banks and small business associations reluctant to lend money to an alcohol-driven business (which may also put to rest the notion that the beverage industry is recession-proof), McHugh has come upon an ingenious way to raise capital fast:

"We have approximately $50K in inventory here in the store, which would guarantee you would get your money's worth in product whenever you're ready to shop, be it online or in-person."

McHugh estimates that $50,000 is needed to pay past due bills and provide a large enough cushion of cash to reach the store's 2nd anniversary in October, at which point he hopes to be seeing some profitability in DoD. Yesterday McHugh rolled out a fundraising campaign called "500 Benjamins or Bust" It's simple: McHugh is looking for 500 people to each start a $100 account with Drinks Over Dearborn. That $100 can be redeemed for any of the services McHugh provides at DoD: mixology classes, events, purchases or gifts and shipping. He'll also offer added incentives to donors opening an account of more than $100, to be determined later.

The campaign will culminate with a 24-hour webcast from 5 p.m., February 27 through 5 p.m. on the 28th, with accounts being processed on March 1 only if McHugh has raised the full $50,000. If he hasn't, then Drinks Over Dearborn will close its doors for good at 9 p.m. March 5.

McHugh is one of the good guys in the beverage industry and if you've ever been to Drinks Over Dearborn, you'd want to go back. At the very least this is your best chance to see what we love about the store.