Marco Island, Fla. – Kirk McFee is a musician, once human resource manager, now turned business owner. Kirk’s Coney Island was part of a long-time dream Kirk had since his years of living on the road and in LA. He hails from Detroit Michigan and his obsession with a genuine Coney Island hot dog sparked the idea that the concept could work, in the right market place. In 2012 Kirk relocated to Marco Island Florida and set out to fulfill his dream of owning his own restaurant and continuing his music career.
Early on, Kirk came to the Florida SBDC in 2013 for business plan assistance. Norm Jacobson and Julio Estremera, both a Florida SBDC Consultants, walked Kirk through the business plan, namely the financial portion. Kirk found himself about $100,000 short and no possible means of financing available to him.
This is where ingenuity comes into play. Kirk had amassed thousands of friends from his years of having a band and recording in LA. He decided to reach out to 500 of them and ask them for a two–hundred dollar investment in exchange to become part of the “Kirk’s 500 Club” which includes perks such a life-time discount on meals, a placard on the wall, and being listed in the Kirk’s Coney Island story on the tables of the restaurant. Rather than having a traditional Kickstarter campaign, he preempted a “Kirk” starter campaign through one-on-one contact and Facebook, and raised over $80,000 in capital, which is payable to investors over the course of five-years.
The road to getting the restaurant open took longer than expected. Kirk’s father in-law was an entrepreneur with experience in restaurant operations as well as construction. Kirk partnered with him to ensure not only the restaurant operations ran smoothly, but also to assist with the construction build-out and leasehold improvements. The day after Kirk signed the lease for the restaurant, Kirk and his wife found his father-in-law had passed away, during the night, in their home. Through it all and with the sudden loss and deadlines to meet, Kirk was able to make it through successfully.
The restaurant opened in August of 2014 and has had much success in Marco Island, including being named one of best sports bars by Yelp© and ranking in at 19 ranking on Trip Advisor© for great places to dine on Marco Island.
What Kirk enjoys most about being an entrepreneur is the freedom of being able to have ownership of his business, continuing to play guitar, and he is no longer be confined to an office cubical as a human resource manager. With the help of the Florida SBDC and help from Kirk’s fan club, Kirk’s Coney Island will be a sports bar landmark on Marco Island for years to come.
Kirk’s Coney Island is located at 1095 Bald Eagle Dr. Marco Island, FL 34145 and Kirk can be reached directly at 734-776-2219, and additional videos are on his website, http://kirksconeyisland.com.