Fishtown Tiki Bar The Yachtsman Runs Out of Money, Turns To Kickstarter

When I interviewed Tommy Up recently for the back page of Philadelphia magazine’s April edition, he told me that his Fishtown tiki bar The Yachtsman would open around April 15th. Well last week came and went without any sign of The Yachtsman, and now we know why: the project has run out of money.

Up and his partner Sarah Brown have launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise at least $36,700 to get The Yachtsman up and running by June. As with all Kickstarter projects, if they don’t meet their goal, they don’t get a cent.

“…[L]ike every ‘crazy’ project, we have hit some unforeseen snags,” they explain in their campaign’s plea. “In our case, our building turned out to have significant structural issues that we needed to correct, before we could even start any decorative work… Instead of bringing in some corporate money, and losing the singleness of vision we feel is important, we want to keep The Yachtsman weird.”

And so they are asking their friends and the Internet for help.

Donation rewards range from Fishtown Yacht Club t-shirts ($35) and Officers Club Membership ($75, includes preferred entry and a key for the Officer’s Only restroom) to your very own name-plated bar stool ($950, and you get to claim the stool whenever you show up) and a framed portrait of developer Bart Blatstein ($2,750).

If you’re wondering why they’re not giving away free drinks, it’s because neither the PLCB nor Kickstarter allows it. Puritans.

Some may scoff at the notion of using Kickstarter to open a bar. After all, Kickstarter is normally used to fund a play, make a movie, or produce an invention, like Data Garden’s awesome device that lets you make music from your houseplants. In other words, highly creative projects.

“Well, this is a creative project as we see it,” says Brown. “This is really personal, and so we don’t want to bring people in as partners. We’d love to see it through with just our friends.”

The Yachtsman [Foobooz]