Cafe Momentum, a Restaurant by At-Risk Kids, Keeps Popping Up and May Soon Settle Down

Chad Houser and Janice Provost are gearing up again. The faces behind the non-profit organization Cafe Momentum are preparing to announce their next pop-up dinner, to be held in February at Bolsa Mercado. The event will feature chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke.

Last year, Houser and Provost used similar pop-up events to kick-start their social enterprise. The group plans to open a self-sustaining, non-profit restaurant that will help challenged, non-violent youths by equipping them with life skills, education and employment opportunities at the new restaurant. They've been using the same at-risk kids at each pop-up event with much success.

Cafe Momentum teamed up with the Dallas County Youth Village and area chefs, including Brian Luscher and Abraham Salum, to host eight multi-course meals at various locations over the year. The first event raised $3,400, a tidy sum but far shy of their $250,000 goal.

Subsequent events were more lucrative. A private pop-up dinner was commissioned at the Dallas Farmers Market to the tune of $15,000. An anonymous donation for $50,000 was received at another event. In total, the group raised $96,000 last year, and they'll continue the pop-up dinner series until they meet their goal -- though that goal may be realized soon.

Houser and Provost are also working other philanthropy channels to raise money. They're currently meeting with The Crystal Charity Ball, hoping a grant could fund the project completely. If that happens, this February's pop-up could be Cafe Momentum's last, as they shift from fundraising to building out a full-blown restaurant.

The tickets for the event will go on sale some time next week, and prospective diners should act fast. Previous pop-ups have sold out in a matter of days and "response has been overwhelming," Houser says.

Diners wishing to attend can monitor their Facebook page or stay tuned to City of Ate. We'll let you know when you can get your tickets.

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