Mobile Tex-Mex food business Basalt is launching a crowdfunding campaign to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Owner Steven Martinez-Thiel said he “unexpectedly” found a space and signed a lease at 1450 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood, and he is now seeking to raise $15,000 by March 18 via a Kickstarter campaign to open a restaurant in the space. As of Thursday morning, Basalt raised $3,510.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity to have come up, and (Tuesday), we launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us get to our goal of opening this spring,” Martinez-Thiel said.
Throughout the last year, Martinez-Thiel brought his food to the Fulton Street Farmers Market and other local farmers markets and pop-up events to build a loyal customer base for his breakfast tacos, tortas, seasonal fruit limeades and more.
The Grand Rapids Business Journal featured Basalt in a Jan. 8 article about the mobile food business’ growth since launching last February.
At the time of the article, Martinez-Thiel said the pandemic had likely pushed his dreams of being able to open a full-fledged restaurant into 2022, but then this opportunity opened up. He said his new goal is to continue to operate at the Fulton Street Farmers Market throughout the 2021 season as well as run the new restaurant.
Funds raised from the all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign would go toward purchasing the necessary kitchen equipment for the restaurant; creating a retail space in the restaurant dining room to showcase its partners and “the amazing talent in the local food community”; performing minor renovations to the space; and buying furniture and decor — including local art and “plenty of greenery” — for the dining room.
If Basalt accomplishes the Kickstarter goal, Martinez-Thiel said he hopes to open the restaurant in early April, pending licensing, inspections and COVID-19-related mandates.
“We had so much fun getting started in 2020 and can’t wait to take this next huge step with all of y’all,” Martinez-Thiel wrote on the Kickstarter page. “Thanks so much for your support!”