Gary Usher, founder of Elite Bistros, has raised £105,136, exceeding his £100K target to continue work on the Manchester site; Kala.
The chef and restaurateur managed to race past his £100,000 goal in 11 hours, which is believed to be a Kickstarter world record. Perks of the fundraiser include your name forever included on the Kala Founders Wall, complimentary meals at other Elite Bistros sites and personally monogrammed aprons. The Kickstarter was scheduled to run for 100 hours.
Usher had already completed one Kickstarter for his Pinion Bistro in Prescot. But due to spiralling construction costs he returned to the crowdfunding platform for help in getting Kala off the ground. Usher reached his goal in only 11 hours with the support of nearly 1,200 backers. The chef took to Twitter shortly after to express his thanks, saying: “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 Kala restaurant was originally 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 Elite Bistros with Sticky Walnut which opened in Hoole, Chester in January of 2011. Burnt Truffle followed in July 2015 after raising more than £100,000 through Usher’s first Kickstarter campaign.