To help speed up the process of cutting the ribbon on his first brick and mortar location, the owner of Rolling J’s Mobile Bistro has begun a Kickstarter page for his endeavors.
Rolling J’s first opened in 2013 when owner Jacob D’Angelo bought his food truck. From there he served up his American cuisine until 2017 when the engine in the vehicle blew. Unable to fix the truck, D’Angelo opened a stand that resides at Finley Stadium to keep his business alive.
Now, D’Angelo said he is working toward an even more permanent solution to the problem by opening his first brick and mortar restaurant. To help speed up the process, he has also started a Kickstarter page where residents can contribute to the cause in return for free food and gear.
“My family has decided that this is what we have always wanted to do and what we want to do every day of our lives, and that is why I am asking for your support in opening this original Rolling J’s Mobile Bistro food truck born restaurant,” D’Angelo said on the Kickstarter page.
He set a goal to raise $10,000 by May 12.
The $10,000 will go toward securing the location, inspection fees, permits and repairs. If he does not reach the full amount of funds, all money will be returned to those who contributed.
He expects the entire project to cost between $25,000 and $30,000.
He said even if he doesn’t meet his goal this time that he still plans to open up the restaurant. The purpose of the Kickstarter was to spread community awareness and to give the community a chance to be a part of the progress.
“We just want to get our name out there and let everyone know that we’re doing this,” D’Angelo said.
This is D’Angelo’s second Kickstarter attempt. He also tried to fund repairs to his food truck but struggled to make enough money.
D’Angelo said he already has a location he is eyeing on Market Street because of the development happening in the area.
“Miller Park is about to expand,” he said. “I feel like there’s going to be a huge amount of foot traffic there. We want to jump in there and grow with it.”
When Rolling J’s eventually opens, he plans to hire a new staff compromising mostly of people he has already met through doing business out of his truck.
“We’re all a big family in this town,” D’Angelo said.
Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC, where she was previously the news editor of the student newspaper, The University Echo. Alina also worked at CNN during the summer of 2017 and is the former Chattanooga correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville. You can reach Alina at [email protected] or on Twitter @alinahuntergrah.