La Brigantessa

ReStore Grant, Fall 2013

La Brigantessa is a lovely, Italian restaurant located in the East Passyunk neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Their cuisine is focused on the southern regions of Italy: “Abruzzo to Calabria, Molise to Campania, Puglia to Basilicata, and the island of Sicilia. These regions are vibrant areas with rugged pasturelands and white cities above cobalt-blue seas.  The Greeks, Italics, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, Turks, and Spanish all left their traces here in the art, architecture, customs, people and, of course, delicious food.”

La Brigantessa’s conception came out of the love for this area.  However, they needed capital for their venture, so they applied for a ReStore Retail Incentive Grant in Fall of 2013.    The financing consisted of the ReStore grant, an SBA Loan, an InStore Forgivable Loan, and matching funds from a private investor.  This was a large project that included many costs; the most notable were the purchase and installation of large kitchen equipment, two walk-in fridges, ice machines, bar equipment, licences and fees, inventory purchases, furniture, lighting, dishware, outdoor signage, website upgrades and branding, as well as, professional development and consulting.  A full plate for the owners and operators.  

This plan was aggressive with the ReStore portion of the grant needing to be done within about nine months of its award.  

More about ReStore:

The ReStore Retail Initiative Grant launched in 2006 and the first grant was made in 2007.  The ReStore initiative was a partnership between the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department and The Merchants Fund.  The funds were from a combination of city bonds that totaled $1.0 m.  Grants were dispersed in amounts up to $50,000.  ReStore was designed to support high quality retail on commercial corridors in the City of Philadelphia.  All the funds have been distributed and the program is no longer active.  The Department of Commerce has established InStore, a forgivable loan program that helps eligible retail, food, and creative for-profit and nonprofit businesses purchase equipment and materials associated with establishing a new location or expanding at an existing one.  More information can be found on the Philadelphia Commerce Department’s website.