Patrick Robinson
Co-Owners Shane Whittall and Paul Ritums (not pictured Jean-Pierre Vidican) are working to bring The Westy Sports and Spirits to life, hopefully in the March timeframe and are using Community Sourced Capital to put them over the top for the finishing touches.

The Westy aims at March and seeks extra funding from the community

Bringing a new business into being is a big job anytime and as you'd expect the biggest hurdle is the money.

Shane Whitall, Paul Ritums and Jean Pierre Vidican, co-owners of the forthcoming Westy Sports and Spirits have managed to secure all the permits, got their liquor license last week and have made excellent progress on the physical space in the 2500 sq. foot restaurant/bar. It is located at 7908 35th S.W. See the Herald's previous coverage here.

They are aiming at a March opening now and while they can complete the space with existing funds, they have a few items on their wish list to make the space exactly the way they have envisioned it. To do that means they need an additional $20,000 to $40,000 in financing.

"We looked at using Kickstarter," said Ritums of the well known small business financial assistance site," but everybody is sort of 'Kickstartered out' and we wanted to make it a cleaner arrangement, and one that really involved the community in helping to launch a small business."

They chose a smaller but solid local option, Community Sourced Capital (CSC). This one year old Pioneer Square based organization works like this: Those who want to offer a no-interest loan from $50 and up to The Westy buy what are called "Squares".

As CSC puts it, "Squares are really simple loans and they act like this: $50 loaned and $50 repaid. It’s not a donation. It’s not an investment. It’s a right-sized mechanism for moving money to a business in your community while still getting paid back." CSC has been involved in financing several Seattle area restaurants and other ventures thus far.

The minimum needed is $20,000 (if the goal is not reached the money is refunded right away) and they've already gotten more than $4000 in the last few days but it must be raised by the end of January. Once the restaurant opens, there's an estimated 18 to 36 month window for the "square" loan to be repaid from the proceeds the business generates.

The finishing touches really matter because the owners are hoping to have The Westy "feel like a place that's been here for years," said Whittall, with brick and wood textures, polished concrete floors, 18 flat screens, local wines and beers, 'stadium favorites' food (with a twist and a decent price), a pool table, skee ball, and other games in house. Adding those 'art directed' elements will make the space far more welcoming and warm.

Click here to help The Westy complete their vision.

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