When Sandy slammed into Monmouth County in October, she washed out homes and businesses alike, but most of Red Bank was left with little more than a long, cold power outage.
Not spared was The Boondocks Fishery, which hangs on a little piece of real estate on the bank of the Navesink River next to Irwin's Marine Facilities in Marine Park.
Despite moving a large portion of the restaurant to higher ground, Boondocks owner Kelly Ryan saw her beloved lobster shack, along with her kitchen business at Donovan's Reef in Sea Bright, wash away on Oct. 29. The surge took with it her livelihood at both establishments.
"It's as if it was the first day of the business," she said. "I need everything, right down to the staples and the stapler."
Ryan applied for a loan from the Small Business Administration to rebuild the fishery but was turned down. The SBA didn't offer a reason for denial, and Ryan is in the process of appealing the decision.
But in the meantime, the clock is ticking away toward summer. And if Ryan wants to be serving steamed lobsters to eager diners in bibs, she needed to take matters in to her own hands.
"I'm going to dedicate myself to make Boondock's bigger and better," Ryan said, with seemingly unflagging optimism.
With the help of some friends, Ryan turned to a funding source outside the purview of bankers and loan officers: Indiegogo, a crowd funding website where anyone can start a campaign to launch a dream, back a cause, start a business or, in this case, recreate a BYOB seafood restaurant.
Kind Burger, the gluten-free burger joint in Sea Bright, is also using the site, with $14,100 of its $60,000 goal raised. Bain's Hardware, also on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, has a campaign.
For The Boondocks Fishery, lobster lovers choose a variety of funding levels such as the purchase of a wine opener for $15, a buoy with your name on it (and an invite to the opening party) for $50, or a lobster bake for 25 for $2,500. So far funders on the site have raised about $2,300 of the needed $30,000. There are 87 days left in the campaign.
To make up for the loss of her Donovan's business Ryan said she will look to add delivery and catering to Boondocks' offerings.
To read more about Ryan's story or to help rebuild Boondocks, visit the restaurant's Indiegogo campaign.