Community News Mad Priest launches Kickstarter for new space, concept

Community News Mad Priest launches Kickstarter for new space, concept

May 30th, 2018 by Emily Crisman in Community Metro

Tarig Idris, Luke Pigott, Matt Sears, Cherita and Michael Rice (with their children), Lauri Moyle, Jen Gregory and Mark Stahlwood, from left, stand in front of the space on Cherry Street where Sears and Rice plan to open The Mad Priest // Coffee & Cocktails this fall. (Contributed photo)

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Mad Priest Coffee Roasters owner Michael Rice and Matt Sears of Haskel Sears Design are partnering to introduce a new concept at 719 Cherry St., The Mad Priest // Coffee & Cocktails.

"Mad Priest has been looking to expand since the beginning," said Rice, who started the roasting company three years ago, later opening what currently serves as the business's combined retail and roasting space on Broad Street in December 2016, which will remain as is.

The concept of the new space on Cherry Street combines coffee and cocktails in a communal atmosphere conducive to conversation, debate and discussion, all fueled by delicious drinks, the pair said.

To help with startup costs, Rice and Sears are running a Kickstarter campaign in June, which they're kicking off with a launch party at the new Chattanooga Whiskey Distillery event space Friday, June 1 at 7 p.m. The event features food from Chatter Box Cafe, sweet treats from Clumpies Ice Cream Co., free beer from OddStory Brewing Company, a cash bar with Chattanooga Whiskey + Mad Priest cocktails — with 10 percent of proceeds going toward the Kickstarter campaign — and music from DJ BMX and C-Grimey.

"Other than free beer and awesome music, we also want to showcase the vision behind the space," said Rice.

While the Mad Priest brand has always incorporated social activism, equity and inclusion through its work with organizations such as the Footprint Foundation, Jazzanooga and Bridge Refugee Services as well as its cultural events, Rice said they'll unveil how Mad Priest will continue and expand that vision at the June 1 event. They'll also talk about how they plan to contribute to the city's Innovation District, in which the Cherry Street space is located.

The goal is to raise $40,000 through the Kickstarter campaign, and contributors will receive rewards such as gift cards to the new space and tickets to cultural events. They hope to open The Mad Priest // Coffee & Cocktails in early fall.

Chattanooga Whiskey Event Hall & Headquarters is at 890 Riverfront Parkway.