It was probably inevitable that someone out there would try to bring back beloved Caribbean sandwich joint Paseo after its surprising closure on Tuesday. That someone is Greg Gans, the Seattle entrepreneur responsible for mobile restaurant ordering app Savvy Orders. Gans is trying to raise $250,000 through Kickstarter "to buy and re-open Paseo, hire the original employees, and provide livable wages and benefits."
As of this writing, the campaign, which closes December 12, is nearing $26,000. More details from the campaign page:
The $250,000 goal represents a small portion of the total cost to purchase and operate Paseo, we created the Kickstarter to give the community part ownership, and a stake in the operations of Paseo.
Paseo is more than a sandwich shop. It's part of Seattle culture. Help us save this Seattle Institution. Be a part of Paseo forever!
We know this is an ambitious goal but we have to try! Our attorneys have been working on what it will take to acquire Paseo and we're quite optimistic. But, if the deal does not go through, of course all money will be refunded to respective donors.
As a dining application company our employees, and partners, have a great deal of experience in starting and operating restaurants. As such, we feel that we are a good fit to re-open and run Paseo.
Paseo's closure this week sent shock waves through Seattle. More details have come to light surrounding the mysterious shutter, including the fact that the owners are being sued by four former employees who claim they were denied mandatory rest and meal breaks, are owed overtime pay and other wages, and were treated differently based on race. Paseo also filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday.
A report on Thursday from The Stranger refuted rumors of a less than satisfactory work environment at Paseo, as nine employees spoke out in defense of the restaurant's media-shy owners.
UPDATE: King 5 spoke with former Paseo staff critical of the Savvy Orders Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Paseo, which at last check has raised more than $40,000. The owners retain the restaurant's secret marinade and sauce recipes, which remain "a guarded secret" that employees don't think can be recreated. Saavy Orders tells King 5 that it doesn't "want to create controversy" with its Save Paseo campaign and confirms that it's willing to go to court for the recipes.