PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Braddock Avenue in Braddock is lined with shuttered buildings, in a city abandoned by steel.
Faded lettering on one of those buildings reveals that it was the home of Superior Motor Company. But it will be the future home of superior cuisine.
Mayor John Fetterman and renowned chef Kevin Sousa had a dream. When banks were unwilling to take a chance on a restaurant in the blighted city, they turned to an internet fundraiser called Kickstarter. They hoped to raise $250,000 in pledges.
“We were confident we had a great idea and hoped that people would get behind it,” Chef Sousa says.
They entered the weekend $100,000 short. But a tidal wave of donations put them over the top.
“Never expected this kind of a surge,” Mayor Fetterman says. “Just so humbled and grateful for everyone’s support in the Pittsburgh area.”
Chef Sousa says it’s a “day that I will remember for the rest of my life. Unlike anything that anyone involved with this could ever imagine.”
Their Kickstarter campaign has more than 1,700 contributors.
“To know there were that many people willing to share their hard earned money to support this dream is beyond humbling for us,” Mayor Fetterman concludes.
In addition to soaring above their goal, they secured a challenge grant from the Heinz Endowment of $40,000. The restaurant will retain its industrial feel, while serving food raised at a nearby farm and a greenhouse on the roof of the building. They hope to open a year from now.