Creating a Home at Church Bar: Exploring Hospitality with Chelsea Gregoire

00;00;10;11 - 00;00;29;24
Rob Lee
Welcome to the truth in is all. I am your host, Rob Lee. And today I have the privilege of being in conversation. And this is a long time coming, but being in conversation with the founder and hospitality director of church there, the owner consultant of Drinkable Genius, please welcome Chelsea Gregoire. Welcome to the podcast.

00;00;30;11 - 00;00;31;14
Chelsea Gregoire
Oh, thanks for having me, Rob.

00;00;31;24 - 00;00;58;13
Rob Lee
100%. 100%. Thank you for coming on. And I want to start off with it's a mixed bag topic, I think, where some people like talking about themselves and other people. I refuse. I'll talk about someone else before I talk about myself. So before we get too deep into the conversation, I want you to share share your story and ultimately, what interested you in hospitality in this industry?

00;00;59;05 - 00;01;27;18
Chelsea Gregoire
Sure. Well, I can tell you, I'm definitely in the camp where I avoid talking about myself at all costs. When we were training the staff for church, I was like, I'm going to do this once and you won't hear it happen again. So I'm I am very familiar, but I've gotten pretty okay with it. So born and raised in Baltimore, I about at the end of elementary school, though I was I grew up in a military family.

00;01;27;18 - 00;01;52;29
Chelsea Gregoire
We moved to Annapolis and that's where I went to high school. And then once I finished school, which many people know, but not everyone knows, I went to Liberty University, which is the Jerry Falwell School. It's been in the news a lot recently, which is so fun. And I went there for both my bachelor's and master's because I got a full ride for my master's degree.

00;01;53;15 - 00;02;22;12
Chelsea Gregoire
And once I was done with school, I spent some time in Richmond, Virginia, but then realized pretty quickly that I was meant to come home and meant to rededicate my time to Baltimore because I love it here. And so then shortly thereafter, I got kind of kicked out of everything that was in process for me because of my queerness.

00;02;22;12 - 00;02;52;12
Chelsea Gregoire
And so I was up for a professorship and I was getting into ministry. And when that happened, you know, my life obviously changed, but it took a different trajectory. And this also answers your hospitality question through that whole process and through school. I was you know, I was a barista. I was working in hospitality. I really loved the idea of caring for people and like building those special connections that you do.

00;02;52;24 - 00;03;23;14
Chelsea Gregoire
And I it was kind of in that moment that I was like, I think I can build a stronger, more authentic community in a restaurant or bar than I can in a church. And that's also kind of how church came to be. And so it's been about a decade in the making and really just just figuring out a way to use my skills and to use the things that I'm passionate about to make other people feel welcome.

00;03;23;29 - 00;03;47;16
Rob Lee
So thank you. Thank you for sharing that. And yeah, I think there's a inaccessibility kind of thing with it. And instead of taking that approach of, oh yeah, meeting people where they're at, this is a place where you don't have some of the I think church, for instance, you'll have some of the rigor is perhaps around. I don't really feel this way about religion.

00;03;47;16 - 00;04;02;21
Rob Lee
I don't want to talk about this. I feel like I'm being judged X, Y and Z. But being able to go to a place where, you know, as it flows, the conversation can flow a bar or it has hospital will place those types of conversations can flow that. So that's that's really cool.

00;04;03;02 - 00;04;45;22
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah. It's, it's been really cool to see people's response to it. And I think that my approach to hospitality has been something that, you know, started long before church in Baltimore. People have seen me open a number of establishments under drinkable Genius, which is my consultancy that's now in its seventh year of existing. And in that time, in one way or another, I participated in about 18 different restaurant openings and people like seeing my interaction with their program and with their guests and like creating these very specialized programs and very specific means of like providing hospitality for different clientele.

00;04;46;09 - 00;05;08;08
Chelsea Gregoire
They kind of saw what are like, in what ways. I really care about making those experiences great, and I was fortunate to win a couple of awards for that and it's just been really overwhelming to see people's response to to how I kind of want to shake things up in our industry.

00;05;08;08 - 00;05;28;07
Rob Lee
I like disruption, I like innovation. I like when things are shaken up or stirred or whatever the nomenclature would be in terms of bars and blah, blah, blah. So in talking about experiences, this has been something that's really been on my mind recently and in going to conventions and just, you know, just conversations that have been around just in this loop.

00;05;28;18 - 00;05;51;13
Rob Lee
And, you know, people talk about when you have a brand, for better or for worse, you know, what are you trying to create in terms of the experience? Who is the persona? Who do you want to see that at these places? I was going through one of these audio books that I am listening to and it's talking about Who is your persona that's listening to your podcast and do an image search on them?

00;05;52;00 - 00;06;15;15
Rob Lee
And I was like probably someone with a magnifying glass and almost curious. That was the only way I could really put it. So for, for, for you and maybe this, this is like a little too on the nose bleed. Who would you say that should be coming to church? Who who would be really interested in the work that you're doing in terms of hospitality, in terms of, you know, providing this sort of community related work?

00;06;15;24 - 00;06;42;08
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah. I mean, that's really tough. I, I don't typically maybe this is like what makes me different as a hospitality consultant, but I don't really ascribe to that idea of like target audience or like key demographics in which every business plan asks you to put in there. Right. And I often find that people box themselves in and I think that it was more esoteric for me when I was thinking about it.

00;06;42;08 - 00;07;08;05
Chelsea Gregoire
I wanted to create a space where anyone who's ever felt shut out from something could feel comfortable. And so I don't even really know what that Google search would look like, but I know for a fact that, you know, allowing that to dictate how we talk about church and to dictate, you know, how we carry ourselves, how we write menus, how we have designed the space it really attracted.

00;07;09;06 - 00;07;38;05
Chelsea Gregoire
You know, first and foremost, our staff are all sharing those experiences. And I think it was like our second day of training. We talked about creating experiences for people who have not felt welcome in other spaces, and it was like a two hour open conversation of people talking about their experiences with it. And multiple people since we've opened have just been overwhelmed by how welcoming and kind everyone is here.

00;07;38;05 - 00;07;53;24
Chelsea Gregoire
And so the idea of like kindness being a part of hospitality, that genuine kindness I think speaks to the fact that it's really just for people who want to feel like they belong somewhere and that they've been thought of.

00;07;54;10 - 00;08;19;04
Rob Lee
So that's that's wonderful. And I've I've had a few more conversations with folks in the hospitality industry and hearing that is that through point I did an interview a little a little while ago with one Webster from Sagamore. He was talking about that as this idea of people coming here for staycations. It's like they're not really leaving their home, you know, that they or their city or what have you, they're coming here.

00;08;19;04 - 00;08;45;15
Rob Lee
So we should make them feel welcome. We should be nicer. We should treat them in a way that they feel like they're taking care of. And I think over the last like three years, if we're being really honest, that that's become so much more evident, that just be kinder to people, be nicer to people, because these are the people that to use the church parlors, I suppose these are the evangelists for your brand and for your business or what have you and for that that sort of community.

00;08;46;02 - 00;09;22;19
Chelsea Gregoire
Right. I think that there's also, you know, to your point about the past few years, a lot of conversations I've had with people that before those three years were regulars of mine, and now, you know, now they're coming back and they're seeing me again at church for the first time in a couple of years. And there the general consensus is we all had time to ourselves to really understand what we need and what we want and what we want our relationships to look like and you know how we want to really spend our time.

00;09;22;22 - 00;09;49;20
Chelsea Gregoire
And I think everybody's done that to one degree or another. And that also comes with for better or for worse, like the expectation when we are experiencing something, you know, there's there's not necessarily a higher expectation every time, but there's a specific expectation. And it's really like I'm out, I'm out of my house. And this isn't something I've gotten to do a lot over the past couple of years.

00;09;49;20 - 00;10;12;25
Chelsea Gregoire
And I want to just I want to feel safe and I want to feel welcome. And I just want like I want something good for myself. Yeah, there's been a whole lot of bad, so, like, I want something good for myself. And that's been the general consensus that we've seen. And that I'm feeling from everyone. There's just so much joy to be out.

00;10;13;09 - 00;10;14;23
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah. You experience something?

00;10;15;06 - 00;10;32;20
Rob Lee
Yeah. I mean, I am a creature of habit. You know, if it's a place that has, like, the things that I need, it has my go juice is, as it were. It's like, I'll be there. And there have been times where I'm a very I'm six four. I'm a very noticeable individual. So it's like, oh, that's, that's the, that's the Rob Gossip podcast guy, what have you.

00;10;33;02 - 00;10;52;17
Rob Lee
And if I'm a regular at a place and it's like I'm invested in it, I want to see it. Well, I think people don't really recognize that sometimes you don't feel as welcome and then you maybe make different decisions because it's like you're kind of untying some of those, connect to the connective tissue, if you will, and going to a place where you feel great.

00;10;52;17 - 00;11;12;11
Rob Lee
And, you know, there was anticipation as I was, you know, telling you before getting started because of your background and your track record in is very close to where I where I'm at. So I was like, this is going to be great. This is going to be wonderful. And at a minimum, it's another option. At the best possible scenario, this is going to be the new place.

00;11;12;11 - 00;11;27;27
Rob Lee
This is going to be the new place where hey, come on over, guys. We're going to be the church. You know, no pews know, you just just this church, this church and one of the drinks. So tell us about that, that moment for the listener. Tell us about that moment when you knew that this was going to happen.

00;11;27;27 - 00;11;39;20
Rob Lee
This is where we're at because, you know, work was happening during that door to pandemic and it's at its peak know. And we're not out of it, obviously, but at its peak. So tell me about that moment when you're like, right, this is happening.

00;11;40;05 - 00;12;15;17
Chelsea Gregoire
Right? It was shortly before March of 2020 that I felt really strongly like the time was coming. Like I mentioned, this has been an idea that's just the seeds been germinating really for about ten years. And for me it was like, okay, I think this is like my next step. It's where I want to be next. And then the pandemic hit and we had planned a way to kind of concept test and to start talking to investors.

00;12;15;17 - 00;12;46;26
Chelsea Gregoire
And it was like, well, nope, nope, it's not going to happen. Yeah. And you know, a lot of upheaval in my life and everyone's life over the next six months, eight months following. And then in November of 2020, I found a space and I walked into it and it wasn't a church. And the idea was originally to do a church, but to redo a church and turn it into this bar.

00;12;48;08 - 00;13;14;19
Chelsea Gregoire
But churches as buildings are they're so massive. And the money that was put into it to repair it would be, you know, enormous as far as a budget. You know, you're looking at millions of dollars to do that project. Sure. And I walked into this space and it wasn't going to take millions of dollars for small and it was something about it just felt right, like the flow of it.

00;13;15;10 - 00;13;50;28
Chelsea Gregoire
And it felt like sacred. It felt like, you know, it's really hard to describe, but I walked into the space and just felt good and it felt like something could be could live here. And, you know, then the process started and here we are almost end of 2022 and we're finally open and that, that, that moment when I, you know, when I walked into the space and then I convinced my business partners that it was the time, that was a whole nother conversation.

00;13;50;28 - 00;14;07;24
Chelsea Gregoire
I was like, okay, if I can get one investor, will you be convinced that it is the time and the consensus was yes. And we got our first investor and then we were off to the races. So it's felt really good to finally make it happen.

00;14;07;24 - 00;14;13;03
Rob Lee
We had that that walk through was like, Oh, this is great. This is a great feeling.

00;14;14;02 - 00;14;14;20
Chelsea Gregoire
Exactly.

00;14;14;29 - 00;14;32;05
Rob Lee
Yeah, it's funny, like because I'm usually in the know and my partner is the one that mentioned just like the first blurb about this being the whole project, the undertaking that was going to happen and I remember that same week I was talking with someone, I was like, I want to do the Church of Pod. There's a lot of empty churches here.

00;14;32;14 - 00;14;48;04
Rob Lee
You feel like there should be a whole podcast studio within a church. They have acoustics and so it was just like right there and just kind of thinking about it. And I was just like, okay, I got to kind of talk to this Chelsea character and learn a little bit more. That's some part of Go Thing was there for me, so I want to talk a little bit more.

00;14;48;04 - 00;15;13;22
Rob Lee
You said you're in year seven of drinkable genius. I want to learn a little bit more about about drinkable genius and ultimate, ultimately, you know, combining that cocktail, if you will, of your experience, hospitality, education and leadership. But this described maybe like a business lesson or one of those like lessons you had to unlearn when it comes to that side of the business outside of consulting.

00;15;14;03 - 00;15;50;15
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah. So, so I'm like, I'm very nerdy and I'm extremely self-taught and so drinkable genius was initially a way for me to stand up for myself because being not a straight white man in hospitality means that you're often taken advantage of. And then, you know, God forbid you're a person of color or you don't like English, isn't your first language like there's just so much exploitation in the hospitality industry, particularly around like work for wages, right?

00;15;51;05 - 00;16;26;15
Chelsea Gregoire
And so I was like, you know what? It might be hard. I was talking to my partner at the time and I was like, But I know that like I bring a lot of skills to the table that are being utilized but that are not being compensated. And I think I want to see those skills be compensated. And so it really started there, which is funny now that, you know, looking back now that I'm like doing a lot of that equity and almost like turning things on its head with, you know, some things that we have in place at church.

00;16;26;15 - 00;16;46;24
Chelsea Gregoire
But it was really just like it was very self taught and as church was this idea that was like a light bulb flickering in the back of my brain. I really started to use it as a way to round out my skills. So I was like, okay, I want to work for now. Call brand. I want to like do some work with them.

00;16;46;24 - 00;17;15;11
Chelsea Gregoire
I want to do some work with a hotel. I want to do some work with an event space. I want to do some work with spaces that don't traditionally have bars, but they need them. And I want to do work in a variety of different styles of restaurants like and I found myself like checking off all these boxes and really continuing to self teach in order to be successful.

00;17;15;11 - 00;17;40;26
Chelsea Gregoire
But I think that the main thing that I have learned and this is continuing today, I haven't fully learned this lesson at any point. I'm I'm still learning. It is like is learning how to be authentically yourself as a business owner while also living in a capitalist society. It is not conducive to you being yourself.

00;17;41;06 - 00;17;42;01
Rob Lee
And is not.

00;17;42;16 - 00;18;07;09
Chelsea Gregoire
You being true to yourself and being true to your values. And you know, I find it all the time because I think, like in my heart of hearts, like I'm way more socialist in my practices and how I think the hospitality industry should be. But at the end of the day, like, you still have to make money in order to pay people, in order to, you know, put food out, in order to sell drinks like it takes money to make money.

00;18;07;27 - 00;18;37;05
Chelsea Gregoire
And it's a constant business lesson to learn how to live in the middle of that and how to like, not compromise what you care about. And what you know is important to you and is important to like the structure of your business, while also realizing that you have to kowtow in some ways to the government in order to do what you want to do.

00;18;37;08 - 00;19;02;15
Chelsea Gregoire
Sure. But I think for me, especially this past year, like right before opening church and even now as I'm managing the restaurant that I own, which is particularly different for me because I've managed lots of restaurants, but I didn't own them. Right? Right. Like I could only make decisions up to a point. And then those decisions were no longer mine to make.

00;19;02;15 - 00;19;29;21
Chelsea Gregoire
Whereas I now get to like actually carry out the decisions that I make, which is a new and interesting feeling, is the idea of like just being myself and being honest. My partner the other day said something that I thought was really profound and they said, like, I feel like you've snapped back into management as you as like, old you.

00;19;30;17 - 00;19;53;11
Chelsea Gregoire
And I was like, You know what? I think you're right. And she was like, Yeah, if you if you do care about doing the hospitality industry differently, like if you do care about reflecting yourself and your values and the work that you do, when somebody asks you like how you're doing and you say that you're tired, it doesn't have to be this.

00;19;53;11 - 00;20;25;13
Chelsea Gregoire
Like all everyone knows, the hospitality industry is exhausting, right? It be like this isn't how it should be and people should be better taken care of. I should take better care of myself and have the ability to churn out. And I thought that was really profound and it really just like drives home the point that that's been my biggest lesson and it's constantly in progress of just how to reconcile myself and what I know is right with a lot of things that aren't right at the core.

00;20;25;14 - 00;20;25;18
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah.

00;20;26;18 - 00;20;47;29
Rob Lee
Yeah, yeah. I'm kind of juggling that right now and coming up for an experience where I was like, Oh, this is the thing I'm supposed to do. This is the way I'm supposed to do this, to grow this and, you know, grow this brand and grow this podcast and be a part of the community. And I'm fighting internally these these impulses of I don't know if that's true.

00;20;47;29 - 00;21;05;08
Rob Lee
And I and I think I know, as you touched on in my heart of hearts, it's like you're a different kind of cat. This isn't this isn't your thing. And just like, well, you know, just just ride that wave. And it's like, all right. And at least from it, you at least get the lesson from having the experience and, you know, always come back to you.

00;21;05;08 - 00;21;27;10
Rob Lee
It's like it's a reminder for me of trust yourself. You're not you're never really too far off, you know, of of what it is and, you know, these ideas. And that's why I think I asked earlier about that experience thing because, you know, when I'm coming back from this this convention, I'm writing down notes just of my feelings as they were, you know, almost immediately.

00;21;27;10 - 00;21;48;29
Rob Lee
And I was like, you know, people are selling this notion of an experience, but they're framing the thing that they're selling you as not an authentic thing. And I was just like, Oh, I just feel so weird. But I like, saw it immediately. Whereas maybe in the past I would have recognized that sort of I would've had that observation maybe a little bit more retroactively, a little bit later in the whole process.

00;21;49;10 - 00;22;13;01
Rob Lee
But now I was noticing that live in person like, Oh, okay, I've gotten better at this, but it still felt weird in and it's just like this is the framing thing as you touched on. This is the framing, this is the landscape in which I have to kind of play to get this brand out there while trying to pepper maybe some of my ideas about what certain facets, maybe not don't work or what have you.

00;22;13;19 - 00;22;14;20
Rob Lee
Right and.

00;22;15;03 - 00;22;15;17
Chelsea Gregoire
Central.

00;22;15;24 - 00;22;37;24
Rob Lee
In in even baked in like what I'm doing in the interviews of like who am I talking to? I'm not talking to everyone. I'm not interested in talking to everyone. It's like you're doing something interesting, you're doing something cool, you're doing great work, and that's where the curation piece comes in and all of that. It's just like, you know, I could talk to anyone, but it's like, these are the people I want to talk to.

00;22;37;24 - 00;22;41;25
Rob Lee
I think these are the people that are shaping what culture and what art and what this city is about.

00;22;43;01 - 00;22;47;02
Chelsea Gregoire
Cool. Well, then I'm honored to be here.

00;22;47;02 - 00;22;52;19
Rob Lee
So I got two more real questions. And then let me get some Rapidfire questions and you can't escape those.

00;22;52;19 - 00;22;54;14
Chelsea Gregoire
I'm sorry. Okay. No worries.

00;22;54;23 - 00;23;12;04
Rob Lee
All right. So one one you don't have. I just addicks. I thought it was really interesting. So one of the things that we have to do, I think you can hire someone to do a bit is if you are authentic, we have to be involved in like social media, we have to be an online, have to be checking into these different things.

00;23;12;04 - 00;23;35;28
Rob Lee
And I like to look at that flow of information because it's not even in the parameters that they create. It's not even authentic for what they create. It's still being curated in a way. This is what we think you should see versus the people who actually follow. And I feel like it's, you know, trying to grab salmon from a really raging river or trying to, like, stop something on an assembly line, like, oh, the bad ones went out.

00;23;35;28 - 00;23;52;06
Rob Lee
Tell me how you filter through like the news that's in your feed as it relates to maybe your industry or maybe people that you're like, I think I want to get a sense of what the community is experiencing. How do you filtered through that stuff and kind of get the the good stuff, the stuff that's usable.

00;23;52;25 - 00;24;27;15
Chelsea Gregoire
Right? I Okay, so for me, there's, you know, the hospitality industry is so fraught that like I, I think I've mostly stopped following like actual accounts and they're pretty much all meme accounts at this point because I have and the reason being is like the news will reach me, right? Look, there was a there's a high profile bar that one of the partners decided to leave their international, decided to leave and took their entire bar staff with them.

00;24;28;06 - 00;24;54;21
Chelsea Gregoire
And they had like just been ranked on the world's 50 best bars, right. So like, this news was going to reach me no matter what. I didn't need to follow like any one specific to get this news. However, like as a person who owns a bar and as a person who cares deeply about doing hospitality differently, there is always truth, like a little bit of truth in like sarcasm and jokes.

00;24;55;06 - 00;25;22;12
Chelsea Gregoire
And so these meme accounts, one, they make me laugh sometimes they make me sad, like, ooh, that's really like sad, but true. But a lot of times it's just like it's like a temperature check on the industry and like what people are thinking about and what is just like so ludicrous that it still is happening in our industry.

00;25;22;12 - 00;25;39;18
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah, they're really, really enjoyable. And also I think I just posted one of them today. I like I just I think that they're really telling of what people in the hospitality industry are experiencing at all levels.

00;25;39;28 - 00;26;01;08
Rob Lee
MM Yeah, I had to do a similar thing where I started doing this, this kind of check in and again it goes out of this, this, this book I was reading earlier about like, does this fit, you know, this has fit in what your brand is and really not being interested in it because like I agree with you, this notion of brand and all of this, like people are people on a brand.

00;26;01;08 - 00;26;24;08
Rob Lee
People aren't, you know, you know, the ideal person I'm looking for, they're not my target audience. They're people. Anyone can listen to what I'm doing and anyone can go there and have a great drink and get some good food. So it's really funny where we're like looking at who's in our scene, who's in our lane, who's in the community and trying to figure out like, all right, how is this serving me?

00;26;24;08 - 00;26;40;01
Rob Lee
That's that's ultimately the rule I look at and it's like, does this align with how I'm feeling at this moment? It's like, I mean, I unfollow them because I've have a fair amount of people who definitely have that tracker of You wouldn't follow me, how dare you? Right. And I'm like, okay, I'll just mute you or something. I don't I don't know.

00;26;40;01 - 00;26;42;26
Rob Lee
I don't know if I need to see your your posts or what have you.

00;26;43;05 - 00;27;12;05
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah. The, the way I kind of approach it. So I, you know, only help with the church social media and we have created plans upon plans like we just have things planned out and that's, you know, for business. But for my personal social media, I just like for a long time I felt like my personal social media had to be so, like curated and like captions had to be written specific ways and specific numbers of hashtags.

00;27;12;05 - 00;27;33;10
Chelsea Gregoire
And like all of this, it was exhausting. And I was like, I don't see myself in it. And so, you know, sometime over the pandemic and even a little bit before I just started, despite all of the work I was doing, I really just started using my personal social media as a way to, like, remind people that I'm a human being.

00;27;33;17 - 00;28;14;10
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah, because that's the first thing people lose sight of when like, you get clout or you win an award or anything they like forget that you're a human being for a person for a moment and, and so, you know, I started posting less about, you know, the drinks I was making and more about, you know, what it's like to open a bar and like what I'm thinking about as far as what we can do with hospitality and also like how my life has changed personally, my struggles with mental health, like all of those things, I was like, this is actually going to be like, if somebody wants to engage with this, this is going to

00;28;14;10 - 00;28;34;25
Chelsea Gregoire
be more helpful to that person than me. Just like putting drinks, pictures of drinks up, you know, there's tons there's tons of drinks on the Internet. Like, I don't need to contribute to that. But if one person is impacted by something that I share just by being a human being, I think that's more important.

00;28;34;25 - 00;28;39;13
Rob Lee
It's like the multi-hyphenate thing when people say, I'm this, this and this, it's like, don't forget, human is at the front.

00;28;39;28 - 00;28;40;21
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah, exactly.

00;28;41;08 - 00;28;56;20
Rob Lee
So you actually answered my last question. So I can hit you with the rapid fire ones and these are going to be ridiculous. I am sorry in advance. Brevity is key here. In your opinion, what is the most overused piece of industry related jargon?

00;28;57;08 - 00;28;59;00
Chelsea Gregoire
Mixologists hate it.

00;28;59;21 - 00;29;18;04
Rob Lee
Okay, this is going to go well. That because it's a great answer. What is your go to lazy night dinner like? What is your favorite thing to make? It's like I'm exhausted, which we all are. Or What does that go to for you? It's like, look how many guess ramen. What is the go to for you?

00;29;18;25 - 00;29;26;27
Chelsea Gregoire
Oh, I have like this weird soft spot for Annie's white cheddar mac and cheese. Like, forget about it. That's what I want.

00;29;27;09 - 00;29;38;06
Rob Lee
Let's go, let's go. Yeah, yeah. I've been. I've been ridiculous. I feel like I got a little extra money. They've just been throwing lump crab on, like, nachos.

00;29;38;27 - 00;29;39;09
Chelsea Gregoire
Yeah.

00;29;39;23 - 00;29;45;02
Rob Lee
Yeah, yeah. But also is ridiculous to, like, here's just this money I'm going to pour on top of these naturals.

00;29;45;21 - 00;30;11;07
Chelsea Gregoire
I, yeah, and I, I have those moments too where I'm like, I'm like, ooh, there's caviar. Ah, okay, let's go get a divorce and let's do it, you know, like, that's me too. I have other sides of it, you know, like, there's like, okay, yeah. I have a craving for, like, top ramen right now, or there is like the other end of the spectrum, and I'm like sitting there eating caviar with potato chips.

00;30;11;07 - 00;30;12;07
Chelsea Gregoire
So you know.

00;30;12;24 - 00;30;21;01
Rob Lee
It's all kind of it takes all goes. Do you have a karaoke song that if someone was like, you got to you got to do a karaoke song, which one is it?

00;30;21;25 - 00;30;39;23
Chelsea Gregoire
Oh, man, I go between a couple. One of them is what's up by four non blonds and the other one is borderline by Madonna, two very unexpected songs I think for me in my presentation. But now everyone knows.

00;30;40;11 - 00;30;55;16
Rob Lee
Yeah, that's, that's the point of this whole segment by the way. I always go with like some type of new Jack Swing song because I really like to go into it and I like to really just like go off and my partner just looks at me. She's like, You're too young to know these lyrics as well as you do.

00;30;55;16 - 00;31;16;05
Rob Lee
Like, How does this fit? You were seven when this came out. I was like, Yeah, that's how it is. Lastly, you mentioned that you're nerdy and that really got my my ears percolating. What's something you collect? I feel like nerds are collectors. I'm a nerdy dude. I collect things. I have pops behind me. You could probably see me as a staple of marshmallow man up there.

00;31;17;18 - 00;31;48;02
Chelsea Gregoire
Okay. Collects I. Okay so I there's a couple of things. My collections aren't as nerdy as they are, just, like, deeply focused. So I, I really enjoy menswear. So I have probably more watches and pocket squares and neckties than I will ever actually wear. And then I also really enjoy collecting vinyl. I do. I do a lot of that.

00;31;48;28 - 00;32;02;17
Rob Lee
Oh, yeah, we definitely have to hang because I admitted a question earlier because I was like, Yeah, I need the style. Like, you're a very dapper individual, so much love and respect on that. And as I'm a person, it's starting to grow on my vinyl collection again. We made the trade notes.

00;32;03;00 - 00;32;04;04
Chelsea Gregoire
Okay, sounds good.

00;32;04;20 - 00;32;16;28
Rob Lee
So with that, I want to thank you for coming onto this podcast and shopping it out with me. And I want to invite and encourage you to tell the fine folks, the listeners, where to check you out, where to check out church, all that good stuff before Jaws.

00;32;17;15 - 00;32;41;01
Chelsea Gregoire
Cool. All right, we'll run it down. So my personal Instagram, that's usually where you can find me on the Internet is at Gregoire drinks. However, church is now open, has been open for two weeks. We're located in the old Gautier neighborhood of Baltimore. We're open Wednesday through Sunday, starting at 5 p.m.. We do cocktails, we do food, and we'd love to have you.

00;32;41;01 - 00;33;03;22
Chelsea Gregoire
And I would make a recommendation to make a reservation on Raasay because we've been very busy. As far as my consulting. You can learn more about that at drink. Well, genius XCOM and also you can follow church at church bar. So yeah, come check us out. I look forward to meeting your listeners and yeah, finally getting to host you Rob.

00;33;03;24 - 00;33;28;01
Rob Lee
So cheers. Thank you so much. And there you have it, folks. I want to again thank Chelsea Gregoire for coming on to the podcast and chopping it up with me and I'm Rob Lee saying that there is art, business, culture drinks in around your neck of the woods. You just got to look for it.

Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Host
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.
Chelsea Gregoire
Guest
Chelsea Gregoire
Chelsea Gregoire is a consultant with skills ranging from food and beverage industry to social media marketing, working under their own company, Drinkable Genius. They have worked with restaurants, production companies, international brand ambassadors, and national organizations. Always displaying the utmost professionalism, Chelsea consistently strives to create experience and community through their work. Chelsea also uses her background in theology, church planting, and community building to craft unique experiences, care for those in her community, and generate equal opportunity for women, LGBTQ, and people of color. In 2022, Chelsea will open their first cocktail bar concept as owner, Church, as a full circle moment for their background and their understanding of how we rise to meet what the hospitality industry needs in this moment.
Creating a Home at Church Bar: Exploring Hospitality with Chelsea Gregoire
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