Online campaign to help restaurant next to Catlow Theater falls way short

  • Tim O' Connor, owner of the Catlow Theater and the new adjacent Showtime Eatery in downtown Barrington, with his wife, Laura, in the restaurant. An online campaign fell well short of its goal in an effort to help finance proposed upgrades to Showtime.

      Tim O' Connor, owner of the Catlow Theater and the new adjacent Showtime Eatery in downtown Barrington, with his wife, Laura, in the restaurant. An online campaign fell well short of its goal in an effort to help finance proposed upgrades to Showtime. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/12/2017 12:48 PM

An online campaign fell well short of its goal in an effort to help finance proposed upgrades to a restaurant adjacent to the Catlow Theater in downtown Barrington.

Tim O'Connor tried to raise $40,000 through Kickstarter to assist with the costs of improving the new Showtime Eatery, which replaced the long-running Boloney's Sandwich Shop in October. O'Connor, who owns the Catlow and Showtime, said the necessary upgrades are estimated to cost at least $100,000.

 

O'Connor successfully used the Kickstarter crowdfunding site in 2012, when it took only seven days for the Catlow to meet a $100,000 goal for a digital projector required for new movie releases. The theater received 1,394 donations totaling $175,395 when the full 60-day campaign ended.

This time, the all-or-nothing Showtime campaign attracted $7,906 from 88 backers willing to help. Contributions for the one-week effort were accepted through Saturday, Dec. 9.

"We are disappointed with the way it turned out, but very thankful to those who did choose to back our project," O'Connor said. "We'll see how far we can go on our own."

Plans call for converting Showtime from what the O'Connors say is a tired sandwich shop interior to one with a contemporary look more fitting for Barrington. Proposed upgrades would include a new counter and beverage bar area, flooring, walls, ceiling, lighting fixtures, furniture and improved access to the Catlow lobby.

O'Connor said he turned to Kickstarter again in an effort to boost Showtime Eatery because he doesn't want to seek a bank loan and became "tapped out" from trying to keep Boloney's going after his fiancee, Roberta Rapata, died in 2016. Rapata co-owned the theater and Boloney's. O'Connor credited her with being the force behind the beloved sandwich joint.

Barrington village board members in October approved a $2,642 facade improvement reimbursement to help pay for exterior work, such as new awnings installed at Showtime, which has a new menu featuring some Boloney's holdovers. Patrons still can bring food into the adjacent Catlow.

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