5 Questions With Josh Lustig


While for most people opening their own business is only a dream, for senior Josh Lustig, he will be achieving this dream, if only for a few days. Inspired to raise money for one of his favorite charities, Allowance for Good, Josh will set up a pop-up restaurant for two days. For Josh, this is just a small step toward pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams.

josh lustig1000
Josh Lustig, senior

1) Why did you decide to create a pop- up restaurant?
I got inspired to start this simply because I love doing this kind of stuff. The way I am able to put together ideas, network with real people, and figure out what to do when things go wrong is exhilarating. It is not something you can learn inside a classroom but something you have to go forth and learn by trials and failures.

2) What is your pop up restaurant all about?
The pop-up restaurant is going to be exactly how it sounds; a temporary restaurant that will appear over two days and then disappear after that. I am hiring a chef, outsourcing my grocery suppliers, and renting the location. The only true expectations I have are to break even and to raise as much money as a can for my cause.

3) When is it going to open?
The pop-up will be up for 2 nights with 2 dinners seating each, March 27 and 28. I am renting out a location called Company off, by Chicago and Dempster in Evanston to put on this event.

4) What type of food will you offer?
The chef that I hired was the former Head Chef of Jackie’s Bistro, Hota, and Blind Faith Cafe. He will be bringing in his own crew and we plan on create a Mexican-American fusion menu. Do to ease and cost effectiveness, it will most likely be a set menu with 4-5 courses. Also, as this event is predominantly targeted toward an older audience, I also plan on having wine or doing a Byob with a small corkage charge. I will consider the wine factor later if I can find a provider that can give me at cost discounts.

5) Who else is involved in this project?
No one is really involved besides myself. However, during the actual event, I will be recruiting about 2 members of the Community Service Club to serve as waiters/hosts. I have yet to decide on these people yet.

6) Where did you get the funds to do this?
My funding for this project comes from a prior organization that I founded called the Alliance for Youth Artists (AYA). Through my sophomore and junior years, AYA was able to raise money by partnering with Evanston arts organization and putting together a couple of fundraising community variety shows. Since my cause is philanthropic and since I am personally not in it for the money but rather of the enjoyment, I was able to convince a lot of people to give me discount prices. The greatest reduction I received has to have come from Harvestime Foods, a local grocery provider that is giving me at cost supplies.

7) Where are the proceeds going?
All of my profits will at first go to cover my expenses to put on the event, which as of now are estimated to be $1,500. The rest of the profits will be going to charity. The organization that I have chosen is called Allowance for Good, a local youth organization that focuses on promoting global youth philanthropy.

8) Do you plan on continuing doing things like this?
Yes because I think entrepreneurial endeavors in general help stimulate local economies by creating jobs and networks.