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It takes a community to make a restaurant happen.Help bring our restaurant to the beautiful neighborhood on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland
It takes a community to make a restaurant happen.Help bring our restaurant to the beautiful neighborhood on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland
100 backers pledged $27,435 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Mägo- a sustainable restaurant coming to Oakland

$27,435

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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.

Graduating CIA (bleached blond tips)
Graduating CIA (bleached blond tips)
Cooking away
Cooking away

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.

My little tiger
My little tiger

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.

Restaurant space
Restaurant space

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.

Grilling pine mushrooms over the fire
Grilling pine mushrooms over the fire

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.

Sungold tomatoes and golden raspberries
Sungold tomatoes and golden raspberries

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Building our community

    Every dollar counts and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Mägo Recipes(Limited to Cyber Monday)

    Mägo at your home. Re-create some of our newest dishes. We will supply the recipes... you supply the home. Be sure to send us photos of your master piece. PDF format recipe will be sent to your email once a month for an entire year. You will also have access to Chef Mark Liberman if there are any questions you may have.

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    Limited edition Mägo Postcard

    Limited edition letter pressed postcard with a handwritten note from the entire Mägo team. Bring in the card to Mägo and receive a free snack from the kitchen.

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    Family Tree in our Garden

    Your name and picture on our family tree in our patio garden, to always be a part of Mägo. It also includes a custom bouquet of herbs and flowers that you will receive when you come in to visit the restaurant.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Mägo T-Shirt (Limited to Cyber Monday)

    The official Mägo “Experience Magic” T-shirt. Be the first to upgrade your wardrobe with the official Mägo swag gear.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Preview of the new space

    A private (for two people) preview tour of the new space that will take you behind the curtains and show you the inner workings of the restaurant and the different menu items we're prepping. The preview will conclude with a tasting of local cheese and preserved fruits.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Long, lazy, lunch...

    Ticket (1) to our long, lazy, lunch at Mägo, a ticketed event that will be held on one sunday of the month on our outdoor patio. The lunch is a family style meal where the focus is on grazing and snacking in a very casual, relaxed format. We will be roasting large cuts of sustainable meat or local seafood as well as a large variety of salads, grilled breads, vegetables and cheeses. The ticket includes food and adult beverages....

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    VIP Admission to Preview party

    Mägos' pre-opening party. Spend the evening partying with us before we officially open the doors. Hang out with Chef Mark Liberman and his team before we open our doors to the public. You will be the first to sample our food, dirty the floors, break in the chef counter but more importantly mingle with all our supporters. One ticket per purchase.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Custom menu- Omakase

    Come in for dinner and let Chef Mark Liberman create a custom menu for you of smaller bites and dishes. The menu will amount to roughly 12-14 courses of spontaneous, delicious food. (Beverage + gratuity not included)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Mägo Cookbook (Limited to Cyber Monday)

    Mägo Cookbook Vol. 1
    We will releasing the first volume of the Mägo cook book our 1st year showcasing recipes from various seasonal dishes, beverages and stories about the day to day life of Mägo. This will be limited edition, signed by Chef Mark Liberman and team, will also make a great gift.

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    Mägo holiday gift basket

    Mägo's holiday gift basket, plan a party around or just devour it yourself. Mägo's delicious house made cured meats: pates, salami, spicy coppa and cheeses to name a few. Includes assorted accompaniments such as our own preserves and pickles. Baskets will be available for pick up at the restaurant.

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    Invent a cocktail

    Work with our bartender and kitchen team to crate a seasonal cocktail that will be featured on our menu. (And you will get to enjoy the tasting process along the way)

    *21 and older only.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Cooking class

    Tickets (2) for one of our upcoming cooking class by Chef Mark Liberman, including two Mägo kitchen aprons and custom Mägo notebook for recipe taking. Great gift for foodies!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Mägo Cookbook Vol. 1

    We will releasing the first volume of the Mägo cook book our 1st year showcasing recipes from various seasonal dishes, beverages and stories about the day to day life of Mägo. This will be limited edition, signed by Chef Mark Liberman and team, will also make a great gift.

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    Chef for a day

    Experience what is like to a chef at a fine dining restaurant. You will spend the morning at the farmers market, picking out the best ingredients. You will help the team get ready for the day. Help Chef Mark Liberman create a new dish for the evening working with our seasonal ingredients.

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    Private appetizer party

    Private appetizer party on our garden patio for 20 guests. Sample an assortment of passed hors d'oeuvres, shellfish, house breads, small plates and desserts. Beverage and gratuity not included.

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    VIP

    A VIP card that gives you access to special tasting events, access to private industry events, priority reservations, farm tours and new menu item previews. Think of it as platinum-level access to our restaurant.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Mägo at your Home

    Mägo at your casa!
    Sit back and relax, we'll bring the party to you!

    Choose from a 2 hour standing reception, or a family style dinner with beverages for up to 30 guests.

    Mägo chef Mark Liberman and his team of professionals will bring everything necessary for you and your friends to sit back and enjoy yourselves.

    *Does not include alcohol

    *within 50 miles of Oakland, must schedule at least 30 days in advance, and is based on availability.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Mägo is yours

    The entire restaurant is yours for the night. Invite up to 30 of your friends to enjoy a delicious evening at Mägo. Chef Mark Liberman will tailor a unique family style tasting meal for you and your friends.

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Funding period

- (35 days)