Gary Usher's White Horse crowdfund closes exceeding target
Gary Usher's latest crowdfund has closed, exceeding a £200,000 target to raise a total of £223,748 with 1,352 backers.
Usher posted on Twitter: "Doing a Kickstarter for this project was never the plan but perhaps it should have been. Some things I guess are meant to be. Thank you I hope we make you all proud."
The Kickstarter target was reached in just 24 hours, with the funds going towards refurbishing and reopening Elite Bistros' first pub, the White Horse in Churton, Cheshire. The pub is hoped to open in the new year with bedrooms planned for 2024.
The crowdfund was a "plan B" after Usher cancelled an equity-based crowdfund, the group's first equity-based crowdfund, which raised more than £500,000 of a £750,000 target but did not reach the target figure.
The winner of last year's Restaurateur of the Year – Independent Catey, Usher is no stranger to crowdfunding, having raised £744,796 between 2015 and 2021 (exceeding the set target every time) to grow to six bistros and an events company, all offering approachable, affordable, quality modern bistro food. He now employs 150 people and the business has an annual turnover of £6m.
The business also has plans for a new tapas concept, Joya, and is developing the first floor of Deva House, the Elite Bistro Events headquarters in Chester, for a development and masterclass kitchen.
Elite Bistros' sites include Sticky Walnut in Hoole, Chester, the first solo restaurant for Usher, which opened in 2011; Burnt Truffle in Heswall on the Wirral, which opened in July 2015; Hispi in Didsbury, south Manchester; Wreckfish in Liverpool; Pinion in Prescot; and Kala in Manchester, which opened in 2019. All sites apart from Sticky Walnut were crowdfunded.