Elite Bistros founder Gary Usher has raised £100,000 in 11 hours, beating his target to continue work on Manchester site Kala.
The chef and restaurateur managed to accumulate 30% of his target within 10 minutes and £63,314 with 658 backers within one hour of launching the fundraiser at 9pm. Perks include guest chef nights with Tom Kerridge, monogrammed aprons and meals at other Elite Bistros sites. The crowdfunding project was scheduled to run for 100 hours in total.
However Usher successfully reached the total in just 11 hours with the support of more than 1,000 backers. Taking to Twitter shortly afterwards, Usher said: “This is fucking incredible. I fucked up the finances for Kala to open. I underestimated the build. I told you all about it only two weeks ago. This is what you do about it. You are all amazing & I don’t know why you support us so much but you do.”
The hotel and restaurant was due to open on King Street last year; it is now due to open 1 May. The Kickstarter page notes: “In true Elite B style, we kind of need the money now. During the build, things have come up that we weren’t expecting, meaning the budget has gone out of the window. We’re currently £100k short and with bills to pay we need some money asap to keep going, which is why we’re hoping to do £100k in 100 hours (catchy too).”
Usher launched his restaurant group Elite Bistros of the World with Sticky Walnut which opened in Hoole, Chester, in 2011. Burnt Truffle followed in July 2015 after securing more than £100,000 through Usher’s first Kickstarter campaign. Didsbury-based Hispi followed suit, receiving nearly £60,000 in pledges.
In May 2017, Usher raised more than £200,000 from 1,522 backers for his fourth restaurant, Wreckfish, in Liverpool. It is believed to be the most money ever raised for a restaurant through a crowdfunding campaign in the UK.