Chef owner, Gary Usher, launched an ambitious £200k Kickstarter campaign on 2nd May to open a 100-cover restaurant in the Ropewalks area of Liverpool city centre. With high profile and humbling support from the likes of Tom Kerridge, Simon Rimmer and several other Michelin star chefs, Usher’s campaign reached the £200k goal with 45 hours to go, from the support of 1,455 backers and counting.
We spoke with Gary this evening to ask him how he felt…”I want to thank the ‘normal people’, the team, those that normally don’t get a mention. When we were half way there and not sure we would get there at all, they supported and believed. I said, if it doesn’t happen we’ve tried and had a good Craic. They said we would get there and their actions meant we did!”
It was great speaking with Gary, his enthusiasm, outlook and gratitude said a lot.
The record-breaking £200k crowdfunding campaign is the largest ever amount raised in the UK by Kickstarter for a restaurant. A huge £35,000 was raised just 24 hours into the campaign, with the total now topping £203,000 26 days in. Fans new and old, as well as fellow industry professionals, have been busy pledging for the likes of meal tickets for Usher’s four restaurants, branded merchandise, masterclasses, private parties and exclusive guest chef nights.
Gary Usher comments: “This is proof that absolutely anything is possible. The banks refused to support me in 2015 when I wanted to open Burnt Truffle and despite three successful restaurants, they struggled to back me again with the amount we need to open a restaurant such as Wreckfish. This business can be extremely tough, but opening a restaurant knowing that the local community and people from all over the UK are already behind it is a fantastic feeling.
Usher continues: “From a pop up in the derelict building in February to raising a record breaking £200k in May, I honestly can’t believe we’ve done this and I can’t thank those who have spread the word, backed and offered their time and services to the campaign enough. I absolutely cannot wait to open Wreckfish’s doors in September.”
The campaign has also seen the likes of support from top chefs, such as Duck & Waffle’s, Dan Doherty, who will be hosting Wreckfish’s first ever brunch service on 5th November to a sold out crowd, as well as Michelin star chef, Tom Kerridge, who will be hosting another sell-out six-course menu in October.
Additional support has come Sunday Brunch’s Simon Rimmer, who offered the highest bidder the chance to watch the programme being filmed. Usher auctioned this unique opportunity via Twitter, raising a massive £2,000 for the Kickstarter fund.
Wreckfish is set to launch in September 2017 more information here