Rooster Soup Co. - a novel social idea whose public Kickstarter campaign in summer 2014 raised nearly $180,000 - is a step closer to reality.
Partners Federal Donuts and Broad Street Ministry have found a home for the restaurant, whose net proceeds after expenses will go to the Broad Street Ministry Hospitality Collaborative, which fights hunger.
The luncheonette - whose opening date has not been determined - will occupy the lower level of 1526 Sansom St., between Oscar's Tavern and Ladder 15 - a block from a Federal Donuts shop. The location last was Sansom Kabob House, which is building a new location at 13th and South Streets.
The idea for Rooster Soup sprang from a FedNuts conundrum: What does a restaurant do with its unused chicken backs? In Rooster Soup Co.'s case, it turns them into chicken stock, soup and gravy, plus sandwiches and salads. Broad Street Ministry, which will serve 90,000 meals this year, has close ties to the restaurant industry. Federal Donuts, whose fourth anniversary is next month, is a project run by Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov (Zahav, Percy Street Barbecue, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher), Bodhi Coffee partners Tom Henneman and Bob Logue, and writer Felicia D'Ambrosio.
Boxwood Architects' design will include a 18-seat counter and bar, booths and tables accommodating up to 40. Proposed hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
Organizers have been tinkering with the menu, which will focus on soups, such as smoked brisket fat matzo ball, Hungarian goulash, cream of broccoli, mushroom barley, and Portuguese fisherman stew, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. A half-dozen sandwiches, all served on house-made white bread, will include corned beef Cuban; patty melt with everything sauce; fried mussels with tabasco remoulade; and a B.L.T. (smoked beets, lettuce and tomato). Salads will include poached tuna with miso-fermented carrots, rice, nori and sesame; and Thai-style kale salad with golden beets and peanuts.
The bar will serve classic cocktails, such as whiskey sours and salty dogs, plus bottled and canned beers and house wines.
Organizers hope that the central location will spur more conversation about helping the homeless and other vulnerable people.
Though the Kickstarter is over, people can still contribute at Rooster's website. Organizers are pointing out that Rooster Soup Co. is organized as a for-profit company, though it will donate 100 percent of its net profits to Broad Street Hospitality Collaborative.