Young and Hungry

Rose’s Luxury Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Back in September, Y&H wrote about a new generation of restaurants turning to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter for financial support rather than relying solely on investors and bank loans.

The latest eatery turning to Kickstarter? Rose's Luxury, which Momofuku Noodle Bar and 2941 alum Aaron Silverman is opening on Barracks Row next spring.

Silverman hopes to raise at least $20,000 to help cover the design and renovation of the space. More specifically, he writes that the money will go toward plants for its enclosed garden seating area, nonpaper hand towels for the bathroom, and "maybe even a fancy ice machine to make actual 'cubes' of ice for your cocktails."

Rewards include a complimentary drink (and high five) for a $10 pledge, a multicourse tasting dinner for nine people cooked in your home plus invites to the VIP soft opening, and a private tasting for two at the chef's counter four times a year for pledges of $5,000 or more. But perhaps most interesting of all: $25 gets you a steamy romance novel signed by the entire "sexy" kitchen staff—plus a free drink.

As Y&H previously reported, the restaurant will feature a $46-per-person tasting menu with potential dishes like popcorn soup, strawberry pasta, and pickle-brined fried chicken. Read more about the restaurant here, and check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

  • JM

    I really don't understand the crowdfunding model for restaurants. You aren't "investing" in the restaurant - you're simply donating $$ as if it were a charity. Why would I donate money to a profit-making enterprise without becoming an equity partner?

  • Jessica Sidman

    @JM I think the restaurants would say you're not "donating" like you would to a charity because you get rewards (some of which are legitimately worth a lot). But you're right that its not the same as "investing." If you haven't already, you might be interested to check out the column I wrote on the subject:

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  • Caroline

    I think donating makes sense for those of us that live nearby. Barracks Row/Eastern Market has some good restaurants, but I don't think any of them are ones that someone would make a special trip out to our neighborhood for. Our pledges will tell the restaurateur that we do want this in our neighborhood and our neighborhood can support it! Ideally an upscale restaurant with the pedigree of Rose's would begin making our neighborhood more of a dining destination. Even if it doesn't achieve that goal, my $10 donation will get me a drink that probably would have cost $10 anyway.

  • DCBird

    The restaurant needs cash up front to build out, decorate, and equip the space before they can start serving food. So the trade is your capital NOW, which they need, in exchange for the promise of food and drink later, which they will provide you with when they can.

    A 5 course dinner for 2, a free drink and dish on a subsequent visit, and copy of our first menu signed by the opening staff isn't too shabby for $150. You are basically reserving a dinner with a deposit paid far far in advance.