By JIM WILLIS
We’ve been taunted by the tantalizing prospect of a Peruvian restaurant on Red Bank’s Monmouth Street for almost two years now. Now, Runa owner Marita Lynn has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help her raise the money she needs to get over the last barriers to opening the doors.
In an Andean language of Peru, runa means “people.” Lynn tells PieHole that when she was in culinary school she dreamed of calling her restaurant Runa, because she enjoyed being around and cooking for people.
Now she’s depending on those people to help her get her doors opened. Lynn tells PieHole that she has simply run out of money.
“I’ve been trying to support my family and open the restaurant with what I make from my catering business, but it’s not enough,” says Lynn, who still needs $37,000 to finish the kitchen and fire suppression system and fund a laundry list of other details needed to open the restaurant.
“The town has come up with a lot of things that we’ve needed to do to open. We’re 90 percent there, but just need a little bit of push to be able to open,” she says.
For different pledge levels, Lynn is offering rewards including cooking classes, summer BBQ packages and a chef-for-a-day opportunity. The complete list of rewards is on the Kickstarter page.
Runa is the second local food business to turn to Kickstarter to raise funds. Red Bank’s Adam Sobel launched a successful Kickstarter campaign last month to buy a second food truck for his Cinnamon Snail vegan lunch truck business. Lynn was not aware of Sobel’s campaign, but tells PieHole she’s a fan and visits the truck at the Farmer’s Market whenever she can.