Clementine Open

David Miller -- February 13th, 2008

old laundromatClementine Cafe or just Clementine is apparently open.

See for yourself.

46 Responses to “Clementine Open”

  1. And I thought we had a quite opening…do they have hours posted?

  2. Tina says:

    I noticed the sign was out, and had lunch there today with friends. Overall, it was a good experience. The food was good, as was the service. [Nice beer list too, although I had to go back to work so I didn’t indulge!] I did not visit the restroom, but all of my friends did and raved about the experience… will have to check it out next time!

  3. Josh says:

    Tina: Raved about the bathroom? That comment made me laugh out loud. :-)

  4. Draegn88 says:

    What is their cousine?

  5. Emmy says:

    OK, so who is taking me? ;)

  6. We might go tomorrow Emmy, wanna come??

  7. Emmy says:

    Can’t tomorrow. I’m having dinner with my kids, my ex and his wife.

  8. Tina says:

    I’m serious about the bathroom!

    They had appetizers and salads on the menu, plus sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. Good stuff and not exactly typical, but not way out either – like a BLT with avocado, or a ham and pineapple sandwich. Prices for the sandwiches were $6-8, I think.

    They had a few “dinner” options, but I didn’t look closely at what was offered or the prices.

  9. danno says:

    If I had a bathroom like the one at Clementine, I would probably spend more time taking a dump every day than I spend watching movies, playing video games, and reading.

    But seriously, I was impressed with everything when I went there tonight. My fellow Hburgnewser Dave had draft glasses of Delirium. He ordered an app plate of tuna which he was ecstatic about. I had one bite of that, and the flavor was very good.

    The service from my bartender was also very impressive, and I will probably go back for drinks again soon. Probably this weekend, and I want to bring some people along.

  10. John says:

    I’m requesting a table in the bathroom when I go.

  11. MAW says:

    We must have ordered the wrong stuff, because I wasn’t really that impressed, food wise. My mom got a Caesar Salad for $5, no meat, and it was smaller than a McDonald’s salad. I ordered what they call a Foccacia “sandwich”, which was more like a pizza with grilled onions, red peppers, and goat cheese. I’m not a potato chip person so the waiter suggested the pasta salad in place of the chips. He didn’t tell me the pasta salad would be $2 extra.

    And of course, I thought the bathroom was very nice. I especially liked the sink. I just don’t like having to share it with strange males.

  12. Draegn88 says:

    How many students if any were there? I might just go sometime soon.

  13. MAW says:

    We were there at lunch time. Not many students. A lot of professional business people. I think it’s going to be one of those places you go to just to “be seen”.

  14. cook says:

    My wife and I enjoyed our evening at Clementine’s tonight, although primarily because of the couple we met for dinner. The food was decent, the service was excellent, the atmosphere was fun, but I must warn those who enjoy eating quantity: I left hungry. I ordered an appetizer, the steak entree, and afterwards another appetizer – all the while drinking numerous beverages. The portions were small; no wonder the prices were “reasonable” – which was our first impression once we figured out how to read the menu. The waiter’s explanation was that Americans eat too much.

    About the bathroom: I was surprised they would open a restaurant with one large one-toilet unisex bathroom on the main floor. I didn’t ask, but I expect the explanation may be something like, “Americans are too private” or “Americans go to the bathroom too much.”

  15. Frank J Witt says:

    Sounds like they will enjoy the “view” while watching their business go down the drain. I wonder just how much the downtown will put up with.

    Well, of course, I will be honest when I get to visit soon.

    Thanks for the “heads” up though.

  16. Lowell Fulk says:

    Hmmm… Americans DO eat too much. And Americans ARE too preoccupied with how other Americans go to the bathroom, and almost everything else that other Americans do in life…

    I have only been there before it officially opened so I cannot therefore offer any informed opinion on what Clementine is, only on what it can become to the downtown experience.

    I welcome their venture, and I wish them success.

  17. Frank J Witt says:

    Lowell, I hope I didn’t come off as crass…I wish them well also.

    BTW the woman from the Post Office ( I think her name is Sarah) said “HI”. We sent the last packages for the troops this week because they will be packing up soon and she remembered the huge box drop from Christmas time. We will be in touch when Wendy is on her 30 day leave because we will be having a gathering at the local AMVETS and would love it if Diane and you and 7G could stop by so we can think you all again.

  18. Lowell Fulk says:

    Frank,
    I don’t think you could be crass if you tried.
    I believe both you and your family to be what more should aspire to emulate.
    God bless you my friend.
    And please do keep us in the loop as to how things are going, and how we may help your very thoughtful and valuable efforts in the future.

  19. Draegn88 says:

    By law per health codes a restaurant is only required to provide a means to wash one’s hands.

  20. compassless says:

    The service was excellent, the atmosphere is to die for. I can’t wait to see what live music they start booking. Kudos to the owners who really are breathing new life into downtown.

    There are a couple things they could definitely work on. I agree with the small portions problem. I felt too silly ordering another appetizer after dinner so I went home and had dinner part II (and I happen to be a very skinny American). Another strange thing is that you can’t just go to the bar, grab a drink and hang out – you have to be SEATED there by the hostess – she sets you up with napkin & silverware even if you’re not eating. That definitely dashed my hopes of having a cool new happy hour location . . . maybe their downstairs bar will be less restrictive.

    And for those of you sharing the bathroom on the main floor with ‘strange males’, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to lock the door behind you.

  21. Draegn88 says:

    So I dropped in today. It was nice, until the crowd rolled in. I am not fond of hearing 20 different conversations at once. It was a surprise not to see any televisions. At least on the main floor and loft.

    The people were very nice, and friendly. The food wasn’t anything to die about. Slightly overpriced, I’ll put that off on VA law requiring a percentage of sales to be food based items and not alcohol. The bar made one faux par, if you’re going to display expensive blends of alcohol, use them in your drinks. Don’t pull out some cheap brand from under the counter.

  22. Josh says:

    Draegn88: Using rail liquors is standard operating procedure at most bars. Hence that whole “top shelf” concept.

  23. David Miller says:

    I enjoyed my first visit to Clementine Cafe. I had some great tap beer (Smithwicks-i think that’s the spelling and Delirium Tremens). I also had an appetizer of Tuna Medallions. It was just ridiculously good, small but really good. The crowd was small, it was their first night of being open to the public. The tables needed some rearranging to allow for traffic but the owners are well aware of the problem and I’m sure will address it. The bathroom was cool; I didn’t think that it was a multi use bathroom. There was a lock on the door and the down stairs bathrooms are plenty large and multi use (two bathrooms, one for the women and one for the men). I’m glad for the place, its 8 steps from my store! :) I can’t wait to try the rest of the menu. I’m ok with not leaving fatter, as long as the portion sizes don’t change. My friend had the po Girl and loved it, shrimp, avocado thick bacon and cheddar I think. It wasn’t small or expensive. One note on this is to point out that the majority of the cost of your dinner isn’t related to the food at all. It’s infrastructure, personnel and electricity. Food isn’t cheap but the difference between an 8 ounce steak at wholesale and a 12 ounce steak is miniscule compared to remodeling a building. And all of the owners and seemingly the employees are American. Hell, the owners also own Hank’s and that’s about as American as you get (I’m sure they serve apple pie). Rail Liquor subnote-they have the best rail lineup of any bar in town. Period (I’ll be honest, it might match Cally’s but I don’t drink much liquor anymore so it just seemed great when I asked). I’m looking forward to a crowd in the downstairs bar, it should really step things up down here! We’ve got a great restaurant scene and great nightlife. It’s only up from here, Go Blue Nile!

  24. We went to Clementines last night for supper. I was impressed with the decor, the staff was awesome, the bathroom upstairs was very cool. We had about a 30 minute wait, but went downstairs and hung out. I ordered the steak dinner. It was excellent! Clay Clark, the owner, was there and we talked with him a while and gave him a few suggestions; mainly that he needed take out. He agreed and said they were working on many different things. I will definately go again!

  25. eso says:

    I was at Clementines before it officially opened for the SpeedDating they hosted. It was very nice done and decorated. They were only serving a Merlot and bottled beer that night, so I don’t know about their selection.

    Umm…. I guess the bathroom was nice. The one downstairs was pretty big. I’m surprised they only have one single sex toilet on the main floor. I would think with the bar there that might not be enough.

    Anyway, now that they are open, I plan to go back soon.

  26. MAW says:

    Does anyone know how the speed dating actually turned out?

  27. eso says:

    Turned out good for me :)

  28. eso says:

    MAW:
    It was fun.
    What specifically did you want to know about it?

  29. Speed dating…..good grief, it must be hard being single these days. I’m sure some thought it was fun though.

  30. eso says:

    Christa:

    I think it is. Especially in Harrisonburg if you don’t hang out in bars or go to Church. The nice thing about speed dating is you talked to them a few minutes then moved on …. you weren’t stuck with somebody you didn’t like all night. Although I did like most of the people I talked to. And you met people that you wouldn’t ordinarily have talked to … far enough away from your social and job circles that you’d probably never have run into. A little different enough to spice things up.

    In case you can’t tell, I had a positive experience. I’ve been dating a girl I met there ever since then. *grin*

  31. MAW says:

    That’s awesome eso! Sounds like it was fun. I thought about doing it, but I just can’t make myself go out there. I’m so selfish. I’ve been on my own for 12 years and I’m still loving it. I don’t have to answer to anyone.

    Good luck to you. I hope things continue to work out for you.

  32. Laura says:

    I was at Clementine’s last night too. I liked the large bottled beer list and inexpensive appetizers. I liked that they left a large bottle of ice cold water on our table, too. Our waiter and the rest of the staff were great.

    We were up on the little boxed-in platform next to the bar and there were too many tables wedged in there — several couples that were escorted to the wedged-in seats next to us asked to be seated elsewhere, so hopefully the hostess took note and will fix that.

    The food we had was quite good and I didn’t notice the portions were small, but we had appetizers and sandwiches. It got quite loud in there as the night went on, but it was a fun crowd and everyone seemed enjoying this hip new place. Can’t wait to see live music there – I got to enjoy a few minutes of it at First Night (New Year’s Eve) and the sound system was fabulous.

  33. Eso, how does it work exactly? Did you go to different places or everyone just stayed in one place? How many women and how many men participated? More women…men? Did they break it up into age groups?
    Man, things sure are different than when I was dating.
    And I think I saw you last night Laura. Were you talking to Clay at one point? I think he left your table then came to ours. I could be mistaken. We were sitting in front of the bar. I wished could have stayed longer but was just too wiped out.

  34. eso says:

    Crista:

    There were ~160 people there so you couldn’t talk to everybody even if you wanted to. They broke it into groups of 10 men and 10 women, roughly divided by age. The women stayed put and the men rotated down the line when it was time to switch.

    When you went in, everybody got a sticker with your first name and a id number. Then you got a small card with ten lines drawn on it. After you talked to somebody, you wrote down their first name and id number, and if you wanted to further talk to them. I think the “dates” lasted 6 or 7 minutes, they went really fast.

    After the event, you turned in your card. If both you and a person “date” said “Yes- I want to see them/know more about them.” the organizers emailed you each other’s phone number or email address for you to contact each other. But, it has to be both people saying yes, they wouldn’t give your info to someone else who wanted it unless you had also said “Yes.”

    The bar didn’t close right after the event so you could mingle with someone who caught your eye, but wasn’t in your dating group.

    I know it’s a little different, but I thought I needed to try something different. And I figured I could talk to a rock for 7 minutes if needed. $25 dollars for 2 hours of fun including two alcoholic drinks wasn’t too bad and it was kind of fun to dress up for a change.

    And yeah, both me and my honey are happy with the outcome. :)

  35. David Miller says:

    Just thought I’d chime in one more time. I went to Clementine again last night and had a blast. The upstairs was to busy to get a seat (no complaints there, I’m happy for them to see a crowd ) so I went and hug out downstairs. I immediately ran into friends and hung out with them while they waited for a table. If you haven’t been you may find that their hosts are even capable of making a wait fun (insert fruit here). After they got a table I was overjoyed to find out that my 22oz Grolsch was only 3.90 after tax. Not bad at all. I am looking hoping that they will be able to start serving at least appetizers downstairs in the near future (maybe better that I didn’t eat at 11 o’clock at night but I would have spent the money if I were given the opportunity).

  36. danno says:

    Maybe put coat racks in front of the bar stools (not complaining, I just had my coat on my lap for a couple hours). The bar downstairs was really busy last night. A lot of the beer in the fridge was cleaned out when I left, so it was good to see that they were selling. Dave is right, good times and good people.

  37. AC says:

    Danno ~ there are hooks under the upstairs bar for your coat or bag ; )

  38. danno says:

    That’s cool, I just didn’t see them in the downstairs bar.

  39. fuzzwell says:

    We had a nice time downstairs on Friday night. Neat folks, good beer, nice atmosphere.

    I’m a fan.

  40. seth says:

    insert fruit where?

  41. jason says:

    I went to clementine’s and i couldn’t believe that i was in h’burg. It was great. The menu was so very diff to other places in town. It was simple but gourmet like. You’re right the bathrooms were amazing,love the deco. It seemed tight in the platform area. The water on the table is very classy. The portion varies on what you’re ordering, I had a wrap and it wasn’t smaller than most wraps i’ve seen. The bistro steak on the other hand is smaller portioned than most plates but it was delicious and we had foccacia starters and soup so i was thankful that the steak wasn’t humongeous. First time I went to Clem’s i spent less than 20 for an awesome beer, app, and a wrap and I couldn’t wait to go back and try another dish. Second time, i took bunch of friends and tried thier signature drinks, dark and stormy rocks by the way, apps, starters, dinners….we spent $300 and none of us complained about the food, service, and atmosphere. Then again, my girlfriend didn’t like the pita, she thought it was burnt but we told her it was just grilled… Does anyone know what kind of music they’ll have in the future.

  42. Marty says:

    It was alright; my fiancee loved it. I dig the beer selection and enjoyed the lounge downstairs for drinks while waiting for an available table.

    I wasn’t a fan of being given a plastic pineapple and waiting for a hostess to come down to the lounge and yell “pineapple” to let me know my table was ready, though.

    Food was good, small portions, but good. Prices were reasonable. I enjoyed my Delerium Tremens. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I have dinner there.

  43. finnegan says:

    The Oscars will be on in the basement of Clementine this evening, starting at 8.

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