Gillan, who ran the Pass restaurant at South Lodge Hotel near Horsham for five successful years until last April, took over the Red Roaster café and roastery in Kemptown with business partner Mike Palmer late last year.
The Red Roaster was one of Britain’s first specialist coffee houses when it opened in 2000, and the pair plan to turn it into “the best cafe in the world”. In the evenings, it will transform into a restaurant called Pike and Pine, serving Gillan’s signature small dishes.
Diners will be able to choose between sitting at conventional tables or at a marble-topped bar, where chefs will serve customers directly following the blueprint Gillan pioneered at the Pass.
If it is successful, the kickstarter campaign to raise £80,000 by March 6 will fund the purchase of land behind the café to develop into a merged indoor-outdoor space combining covered garden and alfresco dining. The coffee roastery a mile away will also receive investment to meet growing demand.