By James Atkinson

Icon Park is considering expanding into multiple venues, with season one winners Stanley Street Merchants having concluded a successful debut in Sydney for the hospitality crowdfunding concept

Co-founder Dean McEvoy told TheShout a busy first season at Icon Park’s East Sydney headquarters was a strong validation for the concept after winner Stanley Street Merchants sold almost $300,000 in bar and dining experiences in the 21-day crowdfunding window. 

Rupert & Ruby, a collaboration between season one contestants Ruby’s BBQ, and Bondi bar and restaurant Fat Rupert, will open its doors at the East Sydney on August 25.

McEvoy said Ruby’s outsold the other season one concepts two-to-one at Taste of Sydney, where it also won the People's Choice Award, so it seemed logical to give a proven concept a chance.

“Opening and running Stanley Street Merchants was busier than anticipated,” he said. 

“We were hoping to open and start the crowdfunding for the next season, but in reality, it took a lot more effort to keep things rolling.”

“We probably didn’t get any breathing room until halfway through… we thought rather than rush it, we’ve already got an awesome concept right here, so let’s make life easier for ourselves.”

Meanwhile, season three of Icon Park is already in the works as McEvoy and partner Paul Schell consider featuring the concept at multiple locations throughout Sydney.

“We’ve taken the learnings from season one, how we grew to make almost $300,000 in the first 21 days. How do we focus more on that and less on the operation side of things?” he said.

“We’re not looking at just the inner city, we’re looking at all kinds of places – out in the suburbs and also interstate, even internationally. We’ve had a lot of interest from New York and London.”

McEvoy said people who made pledges to Ruby’s BBQ as part of its season one campaign will be contacted to see if they still want to go through with the experiences.

“I’m really interested to see how they go,” he said of Rupert & Ruby. “It’s a really different concept to Stanley Street Merchants, which is great.” 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *