Gary Usher's pub crowdfund closes having topped £220k

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Gary Usher's pub crowdfund closes having topped £220k

Related tags Gary usher crowdfunding Elite Bistros Pub & bar

Gary Usher's latest Kickstarter campaign to support the opening of his restaurant group's first pub site has closed having raised more than £220,000.

Usher launched the crowdfund following the failure of his recent equity fundraise​, with a target of £200,000 to support the refurbishment and opening of The White Horse pub in Churton, Cheshire, which Usher's Elite Bistros group acquired earlier this year​​.

The campaign subsequently smashed its crowdfund target within 24 hours of going live​, with the Kickstarter​ eventually closing last night (7 November) having raised a total of £223,748 from 1,352 backers. 

Writing on Twitter​ last night, Usher said: "Well that's it folks… The crowdfund to refurb [The White Horse] is complete. Now we have to refurb [The White Horse].

"Doing a Kickstarter for this project was never the plan, but perhaps it should have been. Some things I guess are meant to be. Thank you I hope we make you all proud."

Usher, whose restaurants are concentrated in the North West of England, is a pioneer of the crowdfunding model within hospitality, with most of his finance coming from supporters effectively buying their meals in advance.

Earlier this year, however, he announced plans to launch his first-ever equity crowdfund​, via Seedrs, which would aim to raise £750,000 to support the opening of the refurbishment of The White Horse, including the building of B&B bedrooms; as well as the development of a new concept called Joya Tapas​; and further development of its first product line for retail and commercial sales.

Last month, though, Usher said those plans had been put on hold after the equity crowdfund 'failed'.

"I'm really sorry that I've let everyone down with the Seedrs," Usher said at the time.

"But I need to react and I need to crack on, so I'm going to stick to what I know. Next week I'm going to launch a Kickstarter for £200,000 and if we achieve it that is what I will use to refurb the pub.

"So all the plans for B&B bedrooms and stuff, we'll have to put on hold. Love to do it in the future, but what we have to do first is just get the pub open, which we're all ridiculously excited about, and just carry on."

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