Dino Owners Launch Crowdfunding Campaign

Dino’s Grotto is officially set for Shaw, but seeks opening help.

Dino owner Dean Gold is seeking help from hungry Washingtonians to fund his next venture. Photograph by Chris Svetlik.

Love neighborhood spot Dino and/or want to eat free for five years? Then we have a new Indiegogo campaign for you. Dino owners Dean Gold and Kay Zimmerman announced via newsletter their next location—“in an old historic building on 9th Street south of U”—and the subsequent launch of a crowdfunding campaign for their upcoming Shaw venture, Dino’s Grotto. The original Cleveland Park Italian spot will close after nearly nine years on January 12.

As with other crowdfunding campaigns started by small, independent ventures, such as Mothership and the newly opened Ivy & Coney, donors can contribute varying amounts toward the monetary goal, in Dino’s case a hefty $50,000. In return they receive perks once the restaurant opens. Gold opted for flexible funding, meaning the restaurant will likely come to fruition even if the full amount isn’t reached.

“We would LOVE it if we could entirely finance the restaurant thru this campaign so we can birth our new baby with just our own resources and fan support,” reads the site. “This is the only way we can have the freedom to do what we do best: support our sustainable network of small family farms & wineries, and artisan producers deliciously!”

Hopeful diners can pick their contribution and subsequent gift, which yields anything from a free cocktail for a $10 donation to gratis meals for five years with a $25,000 orso polare (polar bear) donation toward the purchase of a walk-in refrigerator; prices may change in the coming days. There are also plenty of in-between options, from T-shirts to tasting menus. Once Dino’s Grotto opens, Gold plans to keep many of the classics, like the burger, meatballs, and wild boar pasta, while adapting the casual spot to its new Shaw environs. Stay tuned for more details close to the debut.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.