Food

Which Crowd-Funded Restaurant/Bar Will Open Next?

A Beer Disneyland, Filipino restaurant, and vegan/goth bar fight to become a reality.
Bardo Brewpub (pictured above) may expand to a "BeerDisneyLand" near Nationals Park. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Crowd funding campaigns can be a convenient way for aspiring business owners to turn a concept into a reality—just look at Crumbs & Whiskers, Washington’s first cat cafe that raised over $35,800 on Kickstarter in less than a month, far surpassing its opening goal for a space in Georgetown. Who will the public support next? We took a look at three aspiring restaurant bar/concepts jockeying for your dollar, and the chance to exist.

Project: Bardo Riverfront

Concept: A 10,000 square-foot “BeerDisneyLand” in Navy Yard from Bardo Brewpub. Dreams are high, and low: a floating movie screen in the Anacostia River, a bike shop and parking for 500 cycles, a kayak ramp, and indoor toilets.

Goal: $200,000 by April 26.

What the minimum contribution earns: $20 gets you four pints of beer—though $25 garners a cool MarionBerry t-shirt from the 90’s.

Give the max: $5,000 guarantees a takeover of Brewsneyland, 100 pitchers included.

Raised thus far: $4,235, or a mere two percent

Likely outcome: Raising $195,765 in ten days is a stretch, but Indiegogo’s flexible funding allows the campaign to keep whatever money is earned, even if the goal isn’t reached. You may be drinking and flushing at Bardo in the future.

Project: Bad Saint

Concept: A hip Filipino restaurant in Columbia Heights. The space has already been secured, but it has issues (termites, limited space). A successful campaign will help with opening costs.

Goal: $38,500 by April 29.

What the minimum contribution earns: Give $10, and get a link to Bad Saint’s Spotify playlist (arguably better than the $20 prize, a signed postcard).

Give the max: $5,000 earns a custom-designed dinner for four, plus four items of swag. The package excludes alcohol, per Kickstarter rules. Pricey, or in foodie terms, roughly the cost of 12 all-inclusive meals at MiniBar with beverage pairings.

Raised thus far: $12,771

Likely outcome: The restaurant is opening regardless, but they’ll have to sell a lot more Spotify playlists. Kickstarter doesn’t let a campaign collect unless they’ve reached the full goal.

Project: The Living End Saloon

Concept: An all-vegan gothic/punk/dive bar with local booze and meatless pub fare. The project is in the early stages, and has yet to find a home.

Goal: $30,000 by May 5.

What the minimum contribution earns: A free draft beer for $25. Hey, it’s better than a postcard.

Give the max: Pledge $1,000 and you can name a mushroom burger. Just don’t call it Cows Taste Better.

Raised thus far: $2,305

Likely outcome: There may not be enough portabello patty lovers in Washington to fully fund the campaign, but never underestimate vegans on a mission. TLE may find a way.

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Anna Spiegel
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.