As many of you know, while we are holding these popular Thursday sessions, we are also pursuing a street-level cafe space. As the conclusion to one important piece of the puzzle, I’d like to announce the newest addition to our founding team:
This week Gary Strack, veteran Cambridge restaurateur, joined The Venture Café organizing team alongside Cambridge Innovation Center CEO Timothy Rowe and engineer-turned-Venture Café Manager Carrie Stalder.
Gary Strack is the chef-owner behind rustic Mediterranean bistro Central Kitchen in Cambridge’s Central Square, and the distinctive lounge and event space Enormous Room. Strack brings with him formative experience as a manager at MIT staple Miracle of Science, which Entrepreneur Magazine named “Best Bar for Business” in Boston.
When he joined The Venture Café team, Strack said “I am excited to join the Venture Cafe team because they have instigated a dynamic concept that is not only meaningful to the tech community of Kendall Square but also could prove to be a developmental step forward for the restaurant community at large. Restaurants are the original ‘social networking’ venues and it will be interesting to see how this community reinterprets the concept to fit its own needs. In some ways Venture Cafe might be the new vision of an art house collective or salon. The goal is not commerce but to create an environment where ideas will flourish. My experience pioneering the restaurant community in Central Square will serve us well in developing a new and creative retail vibe in Kendall Square that will match the entrepreneurial spirit of the neighborhood.” Further embracing Kendall Square, Strack and his partner, Cristobal Garcia, are opening a bar & grill, Firebrand Saints, in late Fall 2010 in the base of the One Broadway building at the corner of Third Street.
Tim Rowe, Founder of The Venture Café added, “I’m thrilled to be working with Gary on this exciting concept. Aside from running the Miracle, which we all admire, Gary created in the Enormous Room a truly unique space which has hosted some of the more interesting groups and gatherings in our community. He has an eye for the new and different in a community which is thirsty for that. Kendall Square boasts the highest number of startup companies per square mile of any neighborhood in the world, and is the perfect place for Gary, Carrie and I to build this new institution.”