Broad Branch Market co-owner John Fielding and former Tabard Inn chef Paul Pelt are seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter to help open a fast-casual Chinese restaurant in Shaw called Chao Ku. The restaurant, whose name means “super cool” in Mandarin slang, aims to pay homage to their favorite Chinese places in the Washington suburbs.
“We saw there wasn’t something we really loved going to in D.C. as far as Chinese food. There’s some decent stuff in Chinatown, but all the best stuff is out in the ‘burbs,” says Fielding in the Kickstarter video.
Located at 1414 9th St. NW, the restaurant promises to be “a far cry from your standard food court Chinese.” The menu will include a number of noodles dishes, including dan dan noodles, hot and sour cold noodles, and a beef brisket noodle bowl with baby bok choy and pickled mustard greens. There will also be salt and pepper crispy shrimp and calamari, cured pork jowels with cabbage and salted chili, and a “Chinese burger.” Almost all the dishes will cost $10 or less. The place will also serve craft beer.
The Kickstarter campaign has raised $7,900 so far with 20 days to go. The money will go toward roof repairs, rebuilding the fire escape, renovating the kitchen, hiring staff, and purchasing a Point of Sale system, among other things. Rewards range from a Chao Ku T-shirt and sticker to an invite to the opening to a private dinner for two and tour of the space. (See all the rewards and contribute here.)
Fielding says they’re aiming to open the restaurant in early summer.
Check out the menu below.