Young and Hungry

Which Restaurants Have Raised The Most Through Crowdfunding?

When Pleasant Pops launched a Kickstarter campaign to open a cafe in the spring of 2012, crowdfunding was still a novelty for restaurant and bar owners. These days, everyone from food-truck operators to veteran restaurateurs is hitting up potential customers for money. So far, no local establishments have managed to entirely fund a new venture through crowdfunding—individual investors are still their primary source of capital—but some have brought in serious cash through relatively small contributions. Here are the D.C. restaurant scene’s 10 most successful microfinanciers.


Graphic by Carey Jordan

  • Mario

    When I was a kid, this was called begging. I guess crowdfunding sounds more appetizing. Good list though, I'll be sure never to go to these places that expect handouts because they're too lazy to make their own sacrifices for their "dreams." 21st century nonsense.

  • Art

    @mario Crowd funding is not "begging". It just seems like it because of the current laws. It's actually a great way for small investors to invest in something that they find interesting or important. The fundamental problem with crowd funding today is that companies can't offer equity in their company. It's prohibited for them to offer a piece of the company in exchange for financial support. Instead, they can now only offer "perks" such as those listed. I have not yet "invested" in a crowd-sourced company yet, but I will as soon as I can purchase equity in a company I'm interested in. Consider it an IPO for small businesses and investors.