Eater Features: Can a Restaurateur Bring a Gutted Town Back From the Brink?


Wednesday, January 21, 2015, by Rachel B. Doyle
braddock_5.0.jpgPhoto by Amy McKeever via Eater

Twenty minutes from Pittsburgh, the town of Braddock is “best known for being one of the worst casualties of the collapse of the steel industry, an economically gutted town barely holding on,” writes Amy McKeever on Eater. A quarter of the town’;s housing is vacant, and there has not been a sit-down restaurant on the 10-block main street since 2010. The acclaimed chef Kevin Sousa, who grew up in an impoverished Pittsburgh suburb similar to Braddock, is hoping to change that. He recently raised over $ 300K on Kickstarter (from 2,000 donors including Christian Bale, who once shot a film there) to open a fine dining restaurant called Superior Motors inside a former car dealership, with a culinary job training program for Braddock residents. It was “an amount of restaurant seed money unprecedented in the history of Kickstarter,” writes Eater, “all to open a high-concept, multi-component restaurant in a seemingly hopeless place.”

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