“Give More, Give LES”: Support Local Businesses

We have details today about the benefit for local businesses we mentioned last week.

Hosted by the Lower East Side Business Improvement District and promoted through Lucky Ant, the local crowdfunding company, the evening includes appetizers, drinks, a silent auction and DJ music, with proceeds funding grants to Lower East Side small businesses in need of assistance in the aftermath of the historic and devastating storm. The “Give More, Give LES” event will take place Nov. 27 at The DL, 95 Delancey St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.Ticket prices range from $25 to $1,000 — swag such as tote bags, free yoga classes and T-shirts come with the larger ticket prices. The organizers have set a goal of raising $10,000.

Final Days to Support Parkside Lounge’s Campaign

Parkside Lounge, 317 East Houston.

It’s not just that the Parkside Lounge has one of the best vintage neon signs in the neighborhood.  As one of the last remaining dive bars in a sea of luxe cocktail clubs, it’s also a true locals joint — offering cheap drinks and an incredibly diverse performance lineup in the retro (think high school prom) back room.  Parkside has been operating for decades at 317 East Houston, at Attorney Street, where the nightlife tourists seldom dare to tread. The location has been continuously open as a bar since 1908.

Our friends at Lucky Ant (the LES-based crowdfunding startup) are helping to make sure Parkside sticks around for years to come. They’re in the final four days of a campaign to raise $10,000 to replace the stage in the back room, upgrade the sound system and add a second bar in the performance space.

Lucky Ant Helps xCubicle Fund a New Classroom

Local crowdfunding startup Lucky Ant is at again.  We’ve noted their campaigns in support of organizations such as the Living Theatre.  Now the LES-based firm is turning its attention to xCubicle, the previously tiny video game repair shop on Essex Street, which just moved into a larger space next door.

xCubicle hopes to raise nearly $9,000 to create a “night classroom,” where people in the community could learn all kinds of things – “anything from web design to making ice cream.”  The campaign just kicked off and will last for 18 days. Check out Lucky Ant’s web site for more details.


The Living Theatre Turns to Crowd Funding in Bid For Survival

Last month, we told you about the plight of the legendary Living Theater on Clinton Street.   Co-founder Judith Malina temporarily averted eviction from the performance space as well as her apartment located above the theater.  The experimental institution’s troubles are not over, though. The bills keep piling up – and the theater’s long-term future is uncertain.

Now crowdfunding start-up Lucky Ant is trying to help.  The Living Theater is the featured project on Lucky Ant’s web site; the goal is to raise $24,000 in the next 13 days not only to pay the rent but to hire a consultant who will help Malina and company develop a five year financial plan.

Watch the video posted above to hear about the dire situation in Malina’s own words and see more info about the fundraising campaign here.

You might also want to have a look at this passionate plea from John Clancy (a founding artistic director of the Fringe Festival) about the importance of saving the Living Theater.


Grotto Reaches Its Goal; Dessert Truck Works is Next Lucky Ant Project

On Tuesday, we told you about Lucky Ant, a new Lower East Side start-up devoted to hyperlocal crowdfunding for small businesses. The company’s current project was Grotto, the Italian restaurant on Forsyth Street. Grotto was trying to raise $7500 to cover its beautiful garden. Here’s an update. Last night, with minutes to spare before the fundraising deadline, they made it!

Lucky Ant has now moved on to its next LES venture: Dessert Truck Works on Clinton Street. In the next eight days, they’re trying to raise $3500 to launch a new line of desserts sold in grocery stores. Have a look at the pitch.


LES Start-up Lucky Ant: Crowdfunding for Small Businesses

The garden at Grotto, 100 Forsyth Street.

Anyone who’s been to Grotto, the charming osteria at 100 Forsyth Street, knows it boasts one of the Lower East Side’s nicest gardens.  But since the backyard is uncovered, the garden is only usable a few months out of the year.  But thanks to a start-up called Lucky Ant, there might just be a solution to this problem.

Lucky Ant is a crowd-funding web site something like Kickstarter.  Launched earlier this year by a young entrepreneur named Jonathan Moyal, Lucky Ant seeks to become a hyper-local Kickstarter for small businesses.  The company plans to expand throughout Manhattan (and eventually nationwide), but right now the focus is on small enterprises in this neighborhood (Lucky Ant is headquartered on Chrystie Street).