Local food types may be flocking to Kickstarter these days, but Where Ya At Matt’s Matthew Lewis is following in the footsteps of Thierry Rautureau and Scott Staples, and Heather Earnhardt and launching a founders club for his forthcoming restaurant, Roux.
And if anyone held a contest for the most creative founders club name, Lewis’s Louisiana Purchase would win easily. It’s a nod to the New Orleans–faithful po’boys, jambalaya, and grits he serves on his food truck, and will soon sexy up for his Fremont restaurant. According to Lewis, the concept is also in line with the the sense of community he associates with growing up in the Crescent City, enjoys at his truck, and wants to create in his restaurant.
Founders clubs help aspiring restaurateurs amass funds (you need a lot of those to open your own place) by collecting a few hundred (or a few thousand) dollars from would-be customers in exchange for value-added gift cards down the road. The Louisiana Purchase gives members an additional 25 percent on their investment, so kicking in $1,000 now gives you $1,250 in future Roux gift certificates. For those who buy in with more than $1,500, Lewis is also promising an invite to the restaurant’s opening party. Louisiana Purchase members also get their name engraved on a not-yet-determined part of the restaurant (he promises it’s not the men’s room). Shell out $2,500 and up, and you get discounts on future events at Roux and Where Ya At Matt. For info and specifics, hit up email@example.com.
Lewis’s other plans for the restaurant include a brick wall for a New Orleans courtyard feel, and apparently the iconic sign from the building’s former occupant, the Buckaroo Tavern, just might resurface. He’s targeting a September open for Roux, but as always, such matters are subject to lots of change. Meanwhile, here’s a video of the charismatic Mr. Lewis talking about his project and ways to keep tabs on it.