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A rendering of the new HG Sply Co. location slated to open this winter at Fort Worth’s Alliance Town Square.

Dallas-based HG Sply Co. expands to Fort Worth with a profit-sharing crowdfunding campaign

The UNCO Founders Club lets patrons and community members invest in the restaurant

Since opening its first concept in 2013, UNCO Restaurant Group has expanded across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and now owns and operates 13 restaurants and bars across eight brands. That first concept, HG Sply Co, serves as the company’s flagship, with three current locations and one more on the way.

The new location is slated to open in the winter, and will be going into Alliance Town Center, a master-planned 900-acre community in Fort Worth that features restaurants, retail shops, entertainment venues and office space, plus recreational parks and trails.

Unlike its predecessors, HG Alliance is launching with a new crowdfunding model called the UNCO Founders Club. This campaign allows patrons and community members to invest in the restaurant, and it rewards investors with perks and monetary returns.

“While debating ways to fund this new project, we decided to carve out a piece and try something we’ve been considering for years, a loyalty program built around a real investment/partnership,” UNCO founder Elias Pope said.

Investment starts at a $500 minimum. From that first investment, “founders” immediately receive a dining credit equal to 10% of their investment, and they get points each time they dine at an UNCO concept, which essentially yields a 10% discount for life. The first 50 founders who invest $5,000 or more will eat for free at any HG Sply Co. location for the rest of 2024.

As for dividends, the business agrees to share a portion of its revenue until investors have been repaid 1.4 times their investment. For some background on financials, the three HG Sply Co. locations combined generated $19.8 million in revenue in 2023.

Founders are also invited to investor-only parties and have access to tiered perks. Some might qualify for free queso for life, while an especially generous investor could get an entire bar named after them.

“HG prides itself on being a neighborhood restaurant. Each of the three communities we serve has shown us tremendous support over the years and are the reason for our continued success,” Sameer Patel, the co-CEO of UNCO Restaurant Group said, dubbing it ‘the first loyalty program that makes you money.’ “We have chosen to offer crowdfunding as a way to allow our community to financially participate in the success they are driving.”

The two-story, 8,000-square-foot space will feature an open kitchen and a second-floor bar, and it will seat 220 guests inside. An expansive, multi-level covered patio will provide seating for an additional 108 guests outside.

HG Alliance, as the project is dubbed, will mirror the other locations’ menus, serving clean food with simple, thoughtfully sourced ingredients, as seen in dishes like smoky carrot hummus, ahi tuna poke, a bison burger, and build-your-own bowls. The menu is lifestyle-friendly and allergy-conscious, with options for paleo, vegan and other diets.

Unlike the typical Kickstarter or GoFundMe campaign, HG Alliance is moving forward with the opening regardless of investment. The lease was fully executed in Dec. 2023 and is guaranteed by UNCO for the next 15 years. The group carved out a portion of the capitalization of HG Alliance for its supporters. The more money that supporters contribute, the less UNCO will fund HG Alliance’s costs from other sources.

Patel says that feedback on the UNCO Founders Club has been positive so far, so the company may utilize the crowdfunding strategy for additional HG Sply Co locations or other UNCO concepts in the future.

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