Top Arbroath-born chef Dean Banks has announced he will bring his Haar restaurant back to St Andrews despite falling £33K short in his crowdfunding campaign.
Closing the restaurant back in April, which was originally based at the Kinnettles Hotel, Dean launched a crowdfunder to help raise funds in order to reopen the venue at The Golf Inn on Golf Place.
He asked fans of the brand to purchase restaurant vouchers and unique experiences to raise £50K to cover the refurbishment costs of the new restaurant with rooms to prevent him from borrowing money from the bank.
What happens to the crowdfunder money?
Despite the crowdfunder failing to hit the target and raising only £17K, the MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 finalist will reopen the restaurant in its new home this December due to a private investor stepping in at the last minute.
The money donated by the public will all be refunded in line with the crowdfunding firm’s rules and regulations.
Dean has taken on a long-term year lease at the premises which is owned by Iona Pub Partnership. He had initially hoped the venue would be open later this month, however the 36 to 40-seater restaurant will now be open in time for the festive period.
Renovations of the ground and first floor will be the priority to get the venue open, the four bedrooms upstairs will be renovated at a later date with the hopes of being ready early next year.
Last minute hero
Hours before the crowdfunder closed, Dean was approached by a private investor and secured a deal to ensure he could bring Haar back home.
This is not the first time the chef has used a crowdfunding model as he launched a crowdfunding campaign for his Haar at Home service, raising £42,555 to invest in a dedicated unit for it which he launched initially in St Andrews.
He said: “This is incredible. I have to be honest I thought it looked unlikely as the time drew near, but I was approached out of the blue by an individual who wishes to remain anonymous.
“This person is a long-term fan and wanted to support our plans for St Andrews and its people as they respect what we want to do and always have wanted to do, which is bring the best to the town.
“Maybe the £50k was too high a target so people thought it wasn’t going to happen in the current climate, which is fair enough.”
For those supporters who have or will receive their money back in the near future, Dean has added an option to pre-purchase vouchers on his website so that those looking to experience the venue, can do so.
He added: “I’m so excited that Haar is coming back home to St Andrews and we hope to be open by December.
“Thank you to all the members of the public who pledged support – I look forward to welcoming you to Haar St Andrews.
“We now offer the same rewards on our gift voucher page for anyone who wanted to pre-buy or pledge again.
“Haar is home!”