Word of Mouth

Charcoal Restaurant Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Remodel

Charcoal opened in 2011 in the Golden Triangle with a unique concept and menu: Scandinavian accents from chef Patrik Landberg, combined with coal-fired cooking over a custom-made Japanese bincho grill. While Charcoal is only four years old, the menu has evolved to fit the dining desires of the neighborhood and its residents — on which the restaurant relies heavily, since it doesn't use OpenTable or other online reservation systems, nor does it use print advertising to help spread the word. But after four years, owner Gary Sumihiro and front-of-house manager Chris Keller feel that the space itself needs some sprucing up — and that Kickstarter is just the way to fund improvements.

Charcoal launched its Kickstarter campaign on Monday to raise $50,000 that will go toward interior renovations that will give the dining room a lighter, brighter feel, as well as the addition of a new patio, improvements to the rooftop garden, and new kitchen equipment.

The campaign is scheduled for 45 days, so you have until September 3 if you want to invest in a Denver restaurant that considers itself a Golden Triangle neighborhood secret, according to Sarah DuVal, who started out in the front of the house and is now the director of marketing and public relations for the eatery.

"We’ve been successfully open for almost four years now and have really listened to our customers’ ideas on how we can be even better," says Keller. For that reason, DuVal adds, it makes sense to give the community a chance to chip in through Kickstarter.


The campaign offers rewards to backers, with everything from a Swedish-meatball recipe for a $10 contribution to a home dinner for ten people anywhere in the U.S. with chef Landberg (Charcoal will fly him to you if you're not in Denver) for $10,000. If the campaign is successful, upgrades will begin in September. We'd chip in a couple of bucks if Charcoal promised to add some bar seats, too. During the extended happy hour early in the week, it can be tough to find a spot in the bar...when there's space to spare in the dining room.


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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation