Of all the do-gooder campaigns out there on Indiegogo, it’s refreshing to come across one that allows donors to help a former mobster’s pasta- and pizza-making dreams come true. Angelo “Luzzi” Lutz is raising money to expand his Collingswood, New Jersey, restaurant, which is unsubtly named the Kitchen Consigliere. Lutz, described as a “heavyweight wannabee wiseguy” in a 2001 Philadephila Inquirer report on the trial, was convicted on racketeering, gambling, and extortion charges in an operation linked to La Cosa Nostra. That may all be behind him now, but the thing is, as a convicted felon, Lutz can’t apply for a loan. In a genius move, however, that certainly harkens back to his past as “the only one that could do the math” in the extortion op, he’s now turned to online crowd-funding.
Far from trying to hide his criminal background, Luzzi’s mobster past is the main selling point of his campaign, which pulls at potential donors’ heartstrings by spinning a story of a guy who just loves food and the fast life. The campaign also features an episode in the consigliere’s cooking series, in which he demos fellow mobsters’ favorite dishes as dramatic close-ups of trial headlines scroll across the screen.
The restaurant, which offers large portions of chicken parm and seems to be a neighborhood favorite, has just twenty days left to raise an additional $23,000. Perks include an “over the top Antipasto with everything but the kitchen sink LOL” for $50, or a $1,000 donation will get you and five friends a multicourse meal prepared by the consigliere himself. An offer you can’t refuse?
Restaurant Expansion [Indiegogo]