Isaac McHale to open 'crowdfunded' restaurant The Clove Club in March

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clove club, Restaurant

Chef Isaac McHale has funded his latest restaurant project, The Clove Club, using a crowdfunding website
Chef Isaac McHale has funded his latest restaurant project, The Clove Club, using a crowdfunding website
The Clove Club Restaurant & Bar, the business from chef Isaac McHale which has been partly funded by investors using a crowdfunding website, is set to open in Shoreditch Town Hall next month.

The 42-cover eatery and accompanying 45-cover bar will open on Monday 4 March in two rooms within the Grade II-listed building which is being regenerated to create a theatre, arts space and creative hub.

The restaurant was originally slated to open last November but McHale revealed the team had faced a number of hurdles including securing an alcohol license and planning permission for small changes to the building.

Crowd power

As revealed last year on BigHospitality,​ the venture has been made possible following investment from a number of private individuals who were found using the crowdfunding website Crowdcube.

"The crowdfunding was a resounding success," said the Young Turks chef. Speaking to BigHospitality, McHale said the majority of the investors were friends and family and regulars to the team's other restaurant as well as brand new contacts. "We can't wait to cook for them," he added.

McHale and front-of-house pair Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith came together to partly fund the restaurant but 25 per cent of the equity of the business was offered up to a number of potential investors. At the time of making the pitch, the trio hoped to raise £250k.

"You have got to have a really strong following - it certainly wasn't easy and we weren't handed it on a plate," McHale explained, giving advice to other hospitality businesses which might be considering the crowdfunding model.

"We had to work very hard to answer questions from investors so you need to have a solid business plan and make sure the numbers work. You have to figure that out yourself or get somebody to help you do that. It wasn't just a blind leap of faith from all these people," he said.

The Clove Club

The chef also confirmed the future plan was for the new investors to stay on board for the long-term and get involved with funding future restaurant projects. Until then however, McHale said he was committed to The Clove Club where he will be cooking on a day-to-day basis.

"This is it," he said this week. "I can't wait to get back in the kitchen.

"The food in the restaurant will be ambitious, and in the bar, fun. It’s been a long time coming and we look forward to welcoming old friends and new faces," he added.

Named after the Dalston supperclub which Willis and Smith ran previously, The Clove Club will showcase a five-course tasting menu in the main dining room which will feature a simple design in a nod to the venue's heritage and Edwardian origins.

The food will centre around British seasonal produce and unusual combinations, while the bar will have a separate small plates and sharing dishes menu to complement the cured meats, craft beers and cocktails also on offer. A one-plate, daily-changing lunch meal will also be available in the main dining space on the days the restaurant is open (Monday - Saturday).

Upstairs at The Ten Bells, the Spitalfields pub restaurant also run by McHale, Willis and Smith, will continue to operate with McHale contributing to the menu development while Giorgio Ravelli heads up the kitchen team.

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