Photo Courtesy of Whitney Flanagan
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Years in Business: 7 years
Product/Service: Restaurant
NCIFund Role: Equipment loan for expansion
Sector: Restaurants
Impact: Job creation, support for local food systems, downtown revitalization


In 2014, they opened a complementary sister restaurant named Nightbell, which specializes in craft cocktails and sources local Appalachian ingredients for small-plate American cuisine.   

The Opportunity

Cúrate's strong year over year growth (> 25%) made getting a reservation extremely difficult, with customers needing to book as much as 6 months ahead. To handle this growth, in 2016 Cúrate turned to NCIFund and TD Bank for over $2 million in loans to fund an expansion of the restaurant and purchase additional equipment.

Impact

With the financing, Cúrate was able to double the seating capacity of its restaurant and expand into an identical building next door. The new space features a complete restaurant and bar, allowing each building to be operable as a separate restaurant if need be. The restaurant has also doubled its employment from 70 to over 140, and it is sourcing more local products than ever. Both Cúrate and Nightbell are Living Wage Certified and Cúrate is a three star Certified Green Restaurant. They are dedicated to eco-friendly approaches such as working with local companies to recycle and reduce food waste and environmental impact.

Owner and chef Katie Button’s commitment to the triple bottom line extends beyond the restaurant. She has cooked for a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser and a Chef Action Network summit, and works with chefs at Downtown Welcome Table and Green Opportunities’ Kitchen Ready program to train low-income adults facing barriers to employment.

In August, 2018, Cúrate was named one of the 40 most important restaurants in America by Food and Wine.

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