If all goes according to plan, Chef Kevin Sousa could bring a game-changing installation to Braddock. But first, he needs the funding.
Sousa, whose restaurants include Salt of the Earth
, Union Pig & Chicken
and Station Street Hot Dogs
, has launched a Kickstarter campaign
to help raise the funds necessary to build Superior Motors — a hyper-local restaurant from top to bottom, and just one part of what he sees as a local ecosystem capable of stimulating Braddock's economy.
"We don't have a lot of capital right now. The banks are not, at this time, willing to come to Braddock or take that risk," Sousa says. "We're really going for it. We feel like we've really put together a great campaign."
Superior Motors will occupy the space at 1121 Braddock Avenue in a structure which dates to 1921 and was one of the first indoor car dealerships in the country, known for a time as — you guessed it — Superior Motors. It's directly across from the Edgar Thompson Steel Works
, which Sousa says provides a "malignant beauty."
The restaurant will get about 85 percent of its ingredients from within a two-block radius. In addition to utilizing Braddock Farms
and the Braddock Apiary just down the street, Superior Motors will sport a 1,000 square-foot greenhouse on its roof, plus an additional 4,000 square feet of on-site, raised-bed gardens. Next door, the Braddock Hostel will provide no-cost housing for the restaurant's staff of culinary and service interns from across the country.
"There will be significant discounts for everyone who lives in Braddock," he says. "It won't be a matter of income. Everyone who wants to eat here will be able to afford this restaurant."
Additionally, Sousa is working with the Braddock Youth Project
to offer the area's young people opportunities to develop practical skills in the food and farming trades.
"The goal is to provide more than just summer classes," he says. "We're working on a whole sustainable curriculum."
Sousa projects Superior Motors will be ready to open in early 2015.
Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Kevin Sousa