Sticky Walnut chef Gary Usher secures funding for third site, Hispi Bistro

06 April 2016 by
Sticky Walnut chef Gary Usher secures funding for third site, Hispi Bistro

Chef Gary Usher has raised £58,650 as part of his crowdfunding campaign for his third site, Hispi Bistro.

The chef, who reached his original target of £50,000 two weeks ago but completed the campaign this evening, is hoping to open a restaurant in Chorlton, south Manchester, this summer.

As a result of his crowdfunding efforts, his bank has agreed to support the project with an additional £100,000 of funding.

Usher, the winner of the Menu of the Year Catey award in 2013 and a speaker at last month's NRB Debate in Manchester, commented in a statement on "It's hard to describe how it feels to have nearly 1,000 people, the majority who I have never met, believe in something I am trying to get off the ground. It is both overwhelming and humbling.

"The support has been truly amazing. So many of you are repeat offenders. You bloody pledged on both."

He said that the next step would to be secure the site and explained that the property he was hoping to start work on fell through to legal complications. "We were effectively sold a turkey, so the hunt is back on," he said. "I viewed nine sites last week and I have a further five to view. As always, I will keep you all in the loop."

The Chorlton opening will be third for the group, after the original 40-cover Sticky Walnut in Chester, and 100-cover Burnt Truffle in Heswall, Wirral. It also follows the success of Usher's £100,000 crowdfunding bid for his second site, which in 2014 amassed over £24,000 in just 24 hours, and exceeded the top target in just 30 days.

Last month, Burnt Truffle received a rave review from the Observer's Jay Rayner, who said of the recent crowdfunding exercise: "Personally, as a man who cares too much about his lunch, I would regard making a donation as a social service."

Writing about the food, he added: "On another plate a piece of beef short rib has been braised and braised again, until it seems only to be holding together due to a sense of decorum (and the sticky glaze with which it's been dressed, a reduction of seemingly endless meatiness). A smooth caramelised onion purée lubricates the plate alongside fronds of watercress because we all must have our greens. By this point in the meal I have decided the kitchen can do no wrong. I am theirs."

Usher confirmed that Hispi will be a 60-cover restaurant serving "neighbourhood bistro grub", along similar lines to the group's existing sites, including fresh bread, Sunday roast meats, "some kind of sticky braised meat", cheesy truffle chips, and a wide range of baked fruit tarts.

Burnt Truffle opened its doors in spring 2015, while Sticky Walnut first opened in 2011.

Gary Usher to crowd fund £50,000 for third bistro, Hispi >>

Cheshire restaurant Sticky Walnut reaches £100,000 target for new site >>

Star for the night: Sticky Walnut's Gary Usher on the Cateys 2014 menu >>

Menuwatch: Sticky Walnut >>

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