Taco Punk launches campaign to help keep the restaurant open


by Gene Kang


Posted on January 24, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 9:20 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Many people love the new restaurants in the NuLu District of Louisville, but one place is fighting to stay open.

"We expected to have really big crowds from Thunder Over Louisville things like that. Our first year those were big washes," Gabe Sowder, owner of Taco Punk said.

Their fresh and healthy gourmet-style Mexican food made with local Kentucky Proud ingredients is a hit.

"Delicious, it's better than Qdoba," customer Michael Althoff said.

"All our salsas are made by hand," Sowder said.

The location at 736 East Market Street has been a problem. It is removed from downtown Louisville with fewer customers. With about 25 employees to pay, Sowder is feeling the heat.

He chose to fight back on Kickstarter.com with a campaign to raise $20,000 by February 22. So far, he has raised $515 with 29 days to go. The deal is that he reaches the goal or gets none of the money.

His business savvy comes from being a former chef at the famed Jack Fry's and 610 Magnolia restaurants.

"We want Taco Punk to stay around. We have a side lot that we're trying to develop from the funds and turn into an Alfresco dining area and concert and event space," Sowder said.

Taco Punk is asking for donations as small as $5 to $1,000. They are offering incentives like free T-shirts, food and a thank you party to make their goal. If they do not raise the cash, they may have to make cutbacks or eventually close down.