Designer Martin Kastner is responsible for the iconic circular "infusion vessel" called The Porthole at Grant Achatz's Chicago bar the Aviary, and now he wants to sell you one. In order to get a jump on manufacturing costs, Kastner set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise $28,500. He reached that goal in two hours. The fund is currently at $71,441, with 28 days left to donate. Kastner says they were moved to market the device after customers were disappointed it wasn't for sale; some diners even took it upon themselves to attempt to "liberate" some of them.
The device will sell for less than $100; the Kickstarter basically allows people to preorder one. However, a few lucky souls will get a touch more: Kastner has made a limited edition set of 250 white Portholes for those who donate over $250 (there are 236 of those left as of posting). Also, if you're willing to cough up over $5,000, there's a prize package of sorts:
Two black Portholes, signed by Martin Kastner, plus the opportunity to spend the day with chef Grant Achatz and Charles Joly at the Aviary. You will work the bar during service, learn recipes and techniques, and enjoy cocktails at the Aviary with the chefs.
Sure, why not. Here's a video of Kastner, Achatz, and Aviary co-owner Nick Kokonas explaining the device's various functions.
Video: The Aviary's Porthole
· The Porthole [Kickstarter via @qualityrye]
· Martin Kastner Launches Porthole KickStarter Campaign; Funds Project in Two Hours [Eater Chicago]
· All Aviary Coverage on Eater [-E-]