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Cambridge Bar Brick & Mortar Is Getting Into the NFT Game

Plus, Mei Mei is planning nationwide dumpling distribution, and more news

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Specialty bar glassware: a horse head with a pony head cozying up to it. A frozen cocktail and neon bendy straws are coming up out of the top. The glassware sits on a curved wooden bar with a brick wall in the background.
Specialty glassware at Brick & Mortar
Emily Phares/Eater

Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.

One of You Can Buy Brick & Mortar as an NFT

Artist Oliver Mak — cofounder of streetwear retailer and hidden storefront Bodega — is launching a unique pilot program aimed at using cryptocurrency and NFTs to raise money for restaurants, arts venues, and other spots affected by Covid-era regulations and closures, as Gary Strack, owner of venerable Central Square bar Brick & Mortar, tells Eater.

Brick & Mortar will be the first participating venue, with a pixel art rendering of its building offered as an NFT (a what?), to be auctioned off via at noon on May 25. The winner of the auction will be able to digitally visit the artwork within an artist-created video game environment — and in the real world, they will also be able to name a cocktail on the Brick & Mortar menu.

The digital environment, OliWorldNFT, is created by Mak and is currently in prototype phase. Ultimately it’ll feature a number of properties and locations that can be purchased as NFTs, raising funds for charities or the locations themselves.

For the Brick & Mortar NFT, proceeds will go towards operating costs for the bar, which was closed through much of the pandemic but has recently reopened, as well as development costs for the artwork.

“It seems pretty unique and uncomplicated in the most complicated way,” says Strack, “so I was, of course, happy to participate. This pilot could potentially help dozens of local restaurants, clubs, bars and art spaces in the area going forward, which is our goal.”

Mei Mei Is Taking Its Dumplings National

Fenway venue Mei Mei — which has moved on from its restaurant days and is now selling dumplings, teaching classes, and more — is crowdfunding on the NuMarket platform to fuel expansion of dumpling distribution nationwide. Contributors will get back 120% of their contribution in the form of credits to use toward Mei Mei’s dumplings (shipped nationwide or picked up at local farmers markets). Cofounder Irene Li is teaming up with partners Alyssa Lee and Annie Campbell to transform Mei Mei into Mei Mei Dumpling Company.

Mei Mei’s dumplings — which come in varieties such as cranberry sage pork, cheddar scallion potato, and curried sweet potato — feature New England ingredients, including pasture-raised meats responsibly sourced, which has always been a tenet of the business.

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Mei Mei (Boston)

506 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215 (857) 250-4959 Visit Website

Brick & Mortar

567 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02139 Visit Website