Hot biscuits and biscuit sandwiches 24 hours a day in New York City's East Village.
Hot biscuits and biscuit sandwiches 24 hours a day in New York City's East Village. Read more
About this project
Empire Biscuit will offer excellent and inexpensive small-batch, country-style biscuits and biscuit sandwiches 24 hours a day in New York City’s East Village.
Empire Biscuit is the focused and modest first venture of an ambitious, experienced and hard-working team whose goal is to create a lasting, landmark NYC restaurant.
Empire Biscuit has been in development since March of 2012. It is the collaborative effort of its founders, Jonathan Price and Yonadav Tsuna. Chef Brian Baskoff was recruited in October.
What is the money for?
Well, we completely gutted the space (see the filthy, sweaty pictures from our video). We found some structural problems with the joists on the first floor and had them repaired. Then we did the concrete work and insulation ourselves (more glamorous stuff, see below). Now we’re framing and blocking the perimeter walls and partitions while the subcontractors (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) do the stuff that we’d be stupid to do on our own.
We’re raising money to pay for the final phase: fixtures and finishes and outfitting our kitchen. This last bit includes a lot. Everything from tile, an ice machine, lights, paint, counters, tables and deck ovens to spatulas, floor mats, a walk-in cooler, signage, mop buckets, a hood system, and on and on…
Here's what The Huffington Post had to say about our biscuits at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo:
"Empire Biscuit is about to open in the East Village in New York City. Their biscuits, while not hot sauce, are made right in front of you, and are so fluffy and buttery that you have to keep disguising yourself and coming back for free samples over and over. Sorry guys. We did that. Extra points for trying their fried green tomatoes with mozzarella in the middle and caramelized onions on top. Outstanding."
Where We Came From:
Silly Stuff and Outtakes:
Risks and challenges
Lots of things! It's a restaurant!
The major risks for our project are the same as any restaurant. For example, construction delays are inevitable. There are always surprises, but we're trying to work aggressively and intelligently to minimize these. So far, so good. We estimate that we are 6-8 weeks from opening.
Besides potential construction delays, the major risks for our restaurant are post-opening. We have a strong team in place, a carefully developed concept and menu, a great location and space, and a nuanced financial model. So the basic challenges/risks that remain are controlling food cost and labor once we're up and running.
Catastrophe is also a major risk, especially in NYC. Fires, floods, terrorist attacks, structural problems with the building, etc. These events occur more regularly than anybody likes to admit.
Finally, we could be wrong in thinking that people will want to eat our excellent biscuits, jams, and sandwiches. Maybe people just don't want our product. We think they do. In fact, we're betting our lives on it. We think once people have our plum and port jam with goat cheese and black pepper butter or our gooseberry and apricot jam with duck fat and thyme butter or our apple preserves with spicy pecan butter or... (ham jelly and English pea butter anyone?)... We think that once people taste Empire Biscuit, we'll stay busy for a long time.
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