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As Harry’s Fine Foods finishes with Capitol Hill crowdfunded boost, Galerie 23 seeks $325K

Harry's Fine Foods is opening... soon (Image: CHS)

Harry’s Fine Foods is opening… soon (Image: CHS)

How much does it cost to open a “gourmet restaurant” on Capitol Hill? $325,000. More, actually. But that’s the total chef Rob Sevcik is looking to raise in a crowdfunding campaign to open Galerie 23 on Capitol Hill:

What I need is a sum of $325,000 dollars to purchase a local restaurant that is for sale. I have searched and searched and this opportunity is perfect. It is the right size, has the correct equipment and is located perfectly. I know I will be able to accomplish some truly amazing things with this space if contributors can help me achieve the purchase.

Sevcik’s “founders” won’t walk away empty handed, of course, for their act of generosity. The Thierry Rautureau protege will present his donors with equivalent gift cards and dinner experiences in return for their cold hard cash.

We heard back from Sevcik about his project but, at this point, can’t say what existing restaurant he has his eyes on. Plenty are available. Sevcik was originally looking at a space on E Pine in new development but tells CHS the price was out of his league. He’ll have his work cut out for him raising enough via the campaign. After about two weeks, he has around $2,300 of his goal pledged by backers.

A smaller drive to raise the cash to finish another Capitol Hill food+drink project might provide hope. The folks behind Harry’s Fine Foods just raised nearly $15,000 to help pay for the final buildout of the former corner store at Bellevue and Mercer as it was transformed into a new cafe. In the works for months now — we first told you about the project a year ago this month — Harry’s is planning to open any day now.

You can learn more about Galerie 23 at galerie23.net and keep track of Harry’s Fine Food’s planned opening at facebook.com/harrysfinefoods.

Capitol Hill food+drink | The Harry’s Fine Foods transformation

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9 thoughts on “As Harry’s Fine Foods finishes with Capitol Hill crowdfunded boost, Galerie 23 seeks $325K

  1. When Thierry was putting together Luc, I recall there was a offer to donate a set amount and get a name plaque put on a founders wall in addition to dinners for several months as well.

  2. I wish them well, and all the other good people who believe in the Hill, but it’s turning into the Left Bank St. Germain in Paris…..We’ve kept out Gucci Pucci and Smoochie and all the others replaced
    by their counter parts over expensive chic restaurants.

  3. I have to wonder why “crowdfunding” is so popular these days. Are small business loans no longer available? Crowdfunding cash is not “free money,” as the business owner must pay back in goods or services.

    On another note, I love that “Harry’s Fine Foods” recycled their sign from the old grocery store.

    • i think it has to do with how the funding is paid back. with a bank you pay back in cash with interest. with a good or service, you can set up reward premiums in such a way that what you give is equal to (or less than in some cases) the actual cash the crowd funded.

      think, “give $10 and get your name on a plaque on our wall.” and that plaque only costs $5 to make. 50 people donate at that level and you’ve just made yourself $250. the people funding the project get something tangible they can point to when visiting the business.

      not saying that’s what’s happening here but that seems like the idea of how this could work for a business.

    • Yeah, I call bullshit. For $100 you get 2 desserts, a signed menu(…) and 15% off for a year. You have to imagine their profit margins far exceed that 15% and, while I don’t know how expensive their items will be, I wonder if that will really be worth it to anyone eating there often, assuming it would be expensive to do so… Anyways, I guess it’s up to the donors but in 2 weeks they’ve only received $2200 of their $350k goal but, since it’s indiegogo, that means they get to keep whatever money the raise, no matter what. And guess what happens to those rewards if the restaurant never opens.

  4. I think it’s funny restaurants get away with this bs. If you can’t afford to open your business, too bad. Restaurants already have a high failure rate but add the fact there are already too many overpriced mediocre restaurants in one area and this is a terrible use of your money. Donate to a non profit, it will be better used and you will get a tax writeoff.

  5. I think raising 325K is a huge stretch. I was a founder for Luc’s but I knew with the background at Rovers is would be successful. If you want a cheaper space 2357 10th E is for lease. It is already built out as a restaurant (2030 Sq Ft) so all you would risk is the lease terms. I am a neighbor and have no financial interest in the site. There is a For Lease sign in the window and the phone number is 206-369-2855.
    Good Luck and I look forward to your restaurant.

    • But that site has been the location for a series of failed restaurants….I’m not sure why this is, but it’s a fact, and that’s probably why the space has been vacant for quite some time.

  6. A lot of things go into why a restaurant fails. First is that is must have good food and a good concept. Second the rent must me something that works with the volume of cash that comes in. There are many examples of restaurants that have thrived in what would be considered a less than good location because they got the other things right.