This afternoon, Maya Lovelace, the chef behind the well-loved fried chicken maven behind Portland’s Mae pop-up, launched an all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign to cover the build out and remodeling costs for her two upcoming restaurants, Yonder and Mae, in the old Delphina’s Bakery space at 4636 NE 42nd.
Lovelace says she’s hoping to score $75,000 in the next 30 days to cover the costs of a new hood, a new kitchen, and a pair of “homey and lived in” dining rooms.
“We’ve been operating out of someone’s space for so long that we’re ready to build the restaurant that we want and the kind that people want us to open,” she says, which is why she’s hoping the public will help her fund it. “It’s damn near impossible in this town to open a restaurant without taking on significant investors, and I’m uncomfortable putting my grandma’s name in someone else’s hands.” (Her grandma’s name is Mae, if that wasn’t obvious.)
Donor prizes range from drumstick enamel pins ($25) up to a “Mae comes to you” prize in which Lovelace and her team will fly to a donor’s home to cook a family style meal for them, as long as that home is in the continental US.
Lovelace says that she’s hoping to open the daytime counter service restaurant, Yonder, sometime this summer. Once open, it’ll serve fried chicken, fried catfish, and banana pudding, with cocktails designed by Kate Bolton (Tusk, Ava Gene’s, Americano). It’ll seat about 30 to 40 and will likely open Thursday through Sunday.
Once she and her team get their sea legs, they’ll turn their attention back to Mae, the menu of which is being reimagined to focus on Southern Appalachian specialties like smothered pork chops and barbecued lamb. That restaurant will likely be open Thursday through Sunday nights.
Until then, you can still catch Lovelace’s crunchy fried birds at the Mae pop-up, which will continue to operate out of the Old Salt Marketplace on Monday and Wednesday nights for the next few months.