Serenity Wine Cafe Receives Donation from The Famous Fund

| February 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

Serenity Wine Cafe in Locust Point is the latest South Baltimore restaurant to receive a donation from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood’s The Famous Fund. Jimmy’s started the fund on GoFundMe to support local restaurants that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and dining shutdowns.

The Famous Fund has now raised nearly $430,000 and has supported more than 20 Baltimore businesses including Shotti’s Point, Sliders Bar and Grill, Illusions Magic Bar, The Urban Oyster, Barracudas, and Pickles Pub.

From The Famous Fund’s press release:

When Nneka Bilal opened the Serenity Wine Cafe in 2019, it was the only self-serve wine bar in the city. After 23 years working at Pizza Hut, she chose the city of Baltimore as opposed to other locations outside of the city that she was exploring to serve wine and gourmet pizzas. Like many small businesses, Serenity Wine Cafe has struggled to survive during the pandemic. During each shutdown they were forced to lay off servers and run the business alone until they were able to open up again. They’ve lost more than 50% of their revenue and fell behind on many of their bills. 

O.J. and Chanda Brigance of the Brigance Brigade made the call to Bilal to inform her of the award of $8,000 from the Famous Fund. The Brigance’s then surprised Bilal when O.J. announced that he and his wife would be donating $2000 to the cafe in addition to the $8000 from the Famous Fund for a total of $10,000. 

However, the surprises were not over. T.J. Smith of the Famous Fund came on to the screen to inform Chanda Brigance that the Famous Fund founder, John Minadakis, would be purchasing several of her forthcoming books, entitled “Who Cares?” and donating them to each of the Famous Fund award recipients. Who Cares?, to be released next week, but currently available for preorder, is a children’s book that presents in an age appropriate manner as children will be taught about the crucial role friends and caregivers play. Chanda Brigance has been the primary caregiver for her husband, O.J., a former Baltimore Stallions and Baltimore Ravens football player, who is living with ALS. 

Bilal will be among the first recipients of the book.She says she will use the additional funding to catch up on some outstanding bills as she works to keep the business open.

The South Baltimore Now Podcast Latest Episodes Produced by Nathan Carper:

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.