Gary Usher announces crowdfunding plans for third restaurant

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th January 2016

Gary Usher, owner of Sticky Walnut and Burnt Truffle, has announced he will be opening a third restaurant, Hispi, in Chorlton next summer. 

After a successful crowdfunding project saw Gary Usher and the team raise £25,000 in 24 hours last year in anticipation for Burnt Truffle, Gary has once again taken to Twitter to ask his followers and loyal diners to help him to raise money to invest in his new venture, Hispi.

Sticky Walnut
Sticky Walnut 

The crowdfunding is due to begin on March 1st 2016, although Gary doesn’t have such high hopes for this attempt.

“There’s going to be haters as well as those who support us, people don’t understand what it’s actually about. People think that when I’m crowdfunding, I’m going to stick £100,000 in my pocket and fuck off to Barbados. Some little chefs that are not happy with what they are doing, think that I take that money and do what I want with it." Gary said.

"But actually, £100,000 out of how much that restaurant (Burnt Truffle) actually cost, is only a third of it. Opening a business, and trying to progress, needs investment. Whether that investment comes from the bank, a business partner, or whether it’s crowdfunded, it doesn’t really make a difference, it has to come from somewhere."

He added: “I think, with it being the second time that we have asked for crowdfunding, some people might have the view that it’s me being greedy. That is a naive view toward it, nonetheless, I am expecting comments like that. I don’t expect the same people that pledged last time to pledge again.

"I mean we did £25,000 in 24 hours last time, and that’s never going to happen again, but the feedback we got afterwards was so positive for a new restaurant, you can’t put a value on that. Everybody is already into the idea of the restaurant before it’s opened!"

Gary, who has a large following on social media, has been interacting with diners to help him make decisions on large aspects, including the name. The chef thinks it’s important to have this kind of support over social media.

“Aside from for my ego, it is great," he explained. "Because it means people believe in what you do. Especially within the Manchester crowd! It makes you believe that what you are doing is right.”

After five years of service at Sticky Walnut, Gary thinks it’s the right time to open a third establishment, in order to offer more to his staff and guests.tarts

He said: “Sticky Walnut looks after itself now and Burnt Truffle is getting there! I just feel like it’s a brilliant way to progress, not just for me but for everyone. I have got staff who are ready to make the next move, some key members who are ready for the next thing. It’s necessary in order to keep everybody interested, and to keep the momentum up of what we do just sounds right for me.”

Hispi, a 60 cover restaurant which is due to open in the summer, will be similar to its siblings Sticky Walnut and Burnt Truffle, serving bistro food such as (as described on Twitter) ‘some kind of sticky braised meat’, ‘cheesy truffle chips’ and tarts which ‘will be like our religion’…

Gary said: “I’m a one trick pony to be honest, I don’t know anything else, I only know bistro food! It will be the same style as Sticky and Burnt, it’ll have a neighbourhood bistro feel to it. The site that we have probably got is a really old building, which will work really well for the sort of thing that we do. It’ll just be relaxed and hopefully cool, without trying to be cool!”

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th January 2016

Gary Usher announces crowdfunding plans for third restaurant