KICKSTARTER SUCCESS STORIES

Kickstarter-Funded Restaurant Gets Seal of Approval from New York Times

2011 10 25 16 48 17 514 600x392 Kickstarter Funded Restaurant Gets Seal of Approval from New York Times

Beware all ye mollusks who enter here.

When the proprietors behind Brooklyn seafood shack Littleneck couldn’t come up with the cash to get their restaurant started through traditional outlets, they took to the people: a Kickstarter campaign to fund Littleneck helped get them to where they needed to be. The restaurant opened, and only a few months in, they now have what every chef and restauranteur—especially in this city—dreams of: a seal of approval from the New York Times dining critics.

Sure, they’d already heard from The Village Voice that they “reinvent(ed)” choucroute among other high marks, but the Times stamp of approval is an internationally-regarded one; the kind that can make or break a restaurant, especially one like Littleneck, a small upstart in a neighborhood most Manhattanites have never even been to.

Not even with a Kickstarter can you buy press like this:

Andy Curtin, an owner looking more shipmate than band mate in a beard and woolen cap, swoops about with dishes you’ll be happy to dine on. [...] The fabulous bicoastal oyster selection delivers bracing, diverse pleasures. The clipper-ship-size clam roll pretty much redeems the mollusk; fat-bellied fried Ipswiches burst from their griddled split-top roll. [...] Perhaps we are indeed experiencing a changing of the guard.

The review doesn’t mention the Kickstarter aspect of the restaurant; fair enough, a previous Times piece already covered that territory. That said, it’s worth pointing out now more than ever, if only as further evidence of Kickstarter’s success in democratizing (and maybe, dare we say, revolutionizing) things like personal investment, small business models, and the way we eat.

Also, now, the clam roll. Every once in a while, the startup world actually produces some happy endings. Not that Littleneck’s narrative is totally written, already, but this book in their story ended pretty nicely. Very rarely—but still, sometimes—everybody wins. Unless you’re a bivalve, this would appear to be one of those times.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek

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