Generally speaking, every time Cory DeMint builds a new restaurant, he does it with a pretty singular mission.
"That's what I want my restaurants to do, that's my mission is providing food to neighborhoods that need it," says DeMint, the owner of Electric Cheetah
and Uncle Cheetah's Soup Shop in East Hills. His newest restaurant and catering space, The Old Goat
, is only a few metaphorical inches away from opening in Alger Heights.
With $50,000 still needed to complete renovations on the banquet hall and outdoor patio space, DeMint hopes a new Indiegogo supported crowdfunding campaign
can close the financial gap in time to meet his May 9 goal for The Old Goat's official opening date.
"There is certainly a lack of affordable, urban banquet spaces where the average person can go in and say, 'Hey, this is what I'd like to do for my rehearsal dinner,' and it's someplace cool and the food is good and everything is reasonably priced," DeMint says, adding that the best part about donating to the Indiegogo fund is that, technically, it's not a donation at all.
Called "perks," each donation made to the Indiegogo fund is made in exchange for a gift card eligible for use at any of the three restaurants and worth 20 percent more than the value of the contribution. So, while a $30 contribution equals $36 gift card and $100 contribution is worth $120, for example, contributors at the $500 level will not only benefit from a $600 gift card, but also a full-course meal for 12. $1,000 donations are worth a $1,200 gift card and a private party for 35 people in the new banquet hall the money will support.
"I probably get ten catering calls each week I have to turn down because I don't have a catering space or large tables or any room we can put people in," he says. "Now, with all of the calls I get for catering from Electric Cheetah, I'll be able to tell people we do have a catering space in Alger Heights."
With a total of 10,000 square feet including its basement space, the main restaurant space works out to about 4,000 square feet on the first of three floors at 2434 Eastern Avenue SE.
An Alger Heights resident for about a decade, DeMint says he's kept the needs of the community at the forefront in the development and design of The Old Goat, modeling it after the kind of place he and his family would want to frequent.
"I would have loved to go and sit down at the local family-owned restaurant; my family and I eat out all of the time and I would have frequented that restaurant," he says. "That's what I'm hoping to do for Alger Heights and Grand Rapids as a whole, to provide another high-quality, reasonably priced restaurant that adds to the food scene here."
He says The Old Goat will have a new American fusion-based menu consistent with the kinds of dishes served at Electric Cheetah.
"My influences are my mood, which right now is kind of a Cajun-German-Polish hybrid," DeMint says. "Dishes that are really unique and family-oriented for some of the prominent ethnicities and demographics in Alger Heights."
Between staffing for the main restaurant and The Old Goat's catering arm, DeMint says he expects to make about 50 new hires over the next few months prior to opening after the rest of the renovation funding is secured.
For more information on the restaurant and the fundraising campaign, visit The Old Goat on Facebook
or contribute to its Indiegogo fundraiser here
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of The Old Goat
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