Owner Dean Wilson, who opened his first site in 2007, is seeking to open a new venue via online donation platform Kickstarter, in a renewed bid to share his menu of “modern Greek food” across the north of England.
The group currently has sites in Preston and St. Annes, Lancashire, but had previously stated its hopes to open in Manchester and beyond, having first sought investors in March 2015. At the time, Wilson stated hopes to open ten sites within the next five years, concentrating mainly in the north of England.
No other sites have opened in the interim, although Wilson has created the Elia bar brand downstairs at the Olive Tree Brasserie Preston.
The current crowdfunding bid has already raised £1,535 and been supported by local celebrities. In line with all Kickstarter campaigns, the group will only receive the money if it reaches or exceeds the target by its deadline of Saturday 28 May.
Rewards for pledging include a bottle of the restaurant’s homemade sweet mint balsamic dressing and personalised thank you card (£10), a lunch meal for two (£30), an Olive Tree Brasserie-branded denim apron (£45), dinner vouchers for 2 at any of the sites (£100), VIP invitations to the new restaurant’s opening night (£125), a menu item named after you for two years (£500), and private dining packages for 20 people (£800-£1,750).
The group’s menu includes a range of classic Greek-style options inspired by the Mediterranean’s laidback way of life, and uses ingredients sourced from the local area, plus MSC-certified sustainable fish and seafood.
Dishes include mixed dips, keftedes meatballs, chargrilled halloumi with loukaniko sausage, dolmades vine leaves, moussaka, souvlaki and grilled fish, plus cocktails using the Greek tree resin, Mastiha, and plates inspired by the traditional Greek flavours of lamb, honey, cinnamon, and nuts.
Wilson commented: “There are plenty of Greek restaurants in the south of the country but there’s just not enough choice for modern Greek food in the North.
“I feel very lucky to have received so many messages of support for this project. It’s something I hope fuels lots of interest as we look to support and develop the team.”
Wilson is not the only restaurateur to seek help from Kickstarter in recent months; Gary Usher of the Sticky Walnut and Burnt Truffle restaurants recently raised over £50,000 for his new site in Chorlton, while Paul Foster also reached his £100,000 target to help him launch his own venture in Warwickshire.