More than twenty years ago I started on my culinary journey. I started cooking in my hometown of Folsom, Ca and I have never looked back. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, I was ready to head out into the real world. My mission was to gain a diverse experience working in some of the best restaurants around the country. When I opened AQ in San Francisco, one of my cooks called me mago, which is spanish for wizard/magician. The name stuck with me through the years we were open and I began to embrace it, that was when Mägo was born.
My daughter, Mirabelle was born in March of 2016. I have spent the last two years spending time with my family which is something that I will forever cherish while looking for a permanent home for Mägo. I live in Oakland and I knew I wanted it to be here, I wanted to be close to my family and friends, I want to be a part of the progressive community that is Oakland.
Then it happened! I received information about a potential space available on Piedmont Ave. It had everything I was looking for, an open kitchen when you walked in, existing infrastructure for a restaurant, good location and an outdoor venue. I gathered my savings and investments, and I applied for a small SBA loan to cover the cost of unlocking the doors. Although excited, reality kicked in very fast. I still needed more money to make the restaurant that I want for the community. When we reach our fundraising goal, you get the cool stuff and we get the financial support we need to complete our project. If we don't reach the goal, you don't lose any money (or get any cool stuff). We can raise more than our target ($25k), so keep pledging if you want more cool stuff!
Mägo is located on PIedmont Avenue, walking distance to several retails shops, restaurants and local businesses. We want to open in Oakland because of the vibrancy of the neighborhoods, the diverse cultures and people that live here, it feels like a true community. Oakland is still very much an urban city, which we love, but there are beautiful hills, mountains and closeness to the ocean surround it.
Mägo is an ambitious, energetic 45-seat restaurant, we are partnering closely with local farmers, fishermen and foragers to create a cuisine that reflects Northern California with a weekly changing menu focusing on 52 micro- seasons that only exist here. With over two decades of experience in San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York high-end restaurants, the team brings with them a wealth of talent, knowledge of quality foods and beverages.
Mägo will truly embrace "farm to table" and "local", with abundant access to fresh, local organic ingredients from some of the best farmers and purveyors in the area as well as a raised garden bed on our patio. Check out the sample menu dinner menu.
It is the goal of Mägo to use this experience to provide food that is expertly prepared at a reasonable price in a surrounding that is modern while comfortable. The majority of the seats in the dining room will be around the open custom kitchen, making it the central focal point of the restaurant.
The cooks and chefs will do the majority of the serving of the food, guests will be encouraged to chat with them, ask questions. The kitchen will also showcase a custom wood burning hearth where many of the dishes will be cooked, exploring age old techniques and the art of cooking with fire.
Mark believes that eating out should be relaxed, fun and exciting. It should remind you of all the good times you share with your family while introducing you to new tastes in the company of friends. Mägo is a place with no dress code, no pretensions, warm hospitality, where the food speaks for itself. The ingredients are fresh, and the technique behind each dish is focused and simplified.
A big part of Mägo's mission is paying it forward for the young people in the community. We will have culinary training and classes as well as complimentary meals once a month for local high school kids.
Mark now has the optimal restaurant space to cook your meals, but he needs all the final details to complete your dining experience. This is where YOU come in!
Thank you kindly for your contribution and support!
We reached our goal...can we reach our next milestone?
Help us reach $10,000 over our goal so we can get our outdoor seating ready for summer. Sit outside and smell the rosemary & lemon verbena while enjoying a cocktail with bites or dinner outside next to our raised bed garden.
The $10,000 boost will cover the cost of permits, trellis, heaters, fire pit, seating & tables.
Why a Kickstarter campaign:
I have found an awesome location and signed a lease. Now I need YOUR help! I am looking for $25,000 to buy new chairs and tables, work with local potters for our plate ware and help with the costs of design and renovation. I can not do this without your support and I want to thank everyone who has helped to get us where Mägo is now. It has been an incredible journey and I am so grateful to be living my dream. Thank you for taking the time to look at my project.
I also wanted to extend a huge thanks to Nick Cangello of Last Man Media for shooting the kick starter video. Check his work out at http://www.lastmanmedia.com/
Risks and challenges
Starting a new restaurant is risky. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, I believe that I am prepared to take on this task. I will be hands on owner/chef and be involved everyday in our restaurant's operations.
By buying a restaurant with an existing kitchen, I have cut down on the amount of time that we will need for build out. This allows Mägo to open sooner than if I were to do a full remodel. I am confident that I will diligently work hard to ensure goals are timely met. I will also communicate in a timely manner any and all accomplishments and/or pitfalls.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)