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Local Management Grad Seeks Capital to Bring His Homeland's Street Food to Boston

Alex Shan hopes Garlex will appeal to Chinese immigrants, college students, and others.

Alex Shan pitching his restaurant, Garlex, on Kickstarter
Alex Shan pitching his restaurant, Garlex, on Kickstarter

A son of Chinese restaurant operators is looking to start his own street food restaurant in the Boston area. Ximing "Alex" Shan launched a Kickstarter campaign last week to raise $200,000 to open his own concept in Allston or Malden called Garlex.

A recent graduate from a masters program at Northeastern University, Shan says he misses cuisine found in Xi'an, a central Chinese city, and he imagines he's not the only one. "The company will specialize in Chinese street-style food, providing Boston residents — primarily college students with an emphasis on those of Chinese origin — the ability to eat delicious, affordable food and drink beers as part of an adventurous night out," he writes on the campaign page.

He plans to offer food not commonly found in the Boston area, highlighted by a video from The Food Ranger that Shan uses on his Kickstarter site. Shan says plans to solicit the assistance of the YouTube celebrity to promote his restaurant. Also envisioning Garlex as a late-night bar option, Shan plans special events to draw people in as well, he writes.

Shan's parents operate a sushi restaurant in Austria, and he has grown up in the industry, he shares. Armed with degrees in management, he has also taken on restaurant jobs in the area to better learn the local business. Shan promises to source recipes directly from China for authenticity.

Shan has until August 31 to raise $200,000. The campaign hasn't had a donor yet.