Convicted Mobster Turns to Crowdfunding to Open NJ Restaurant

"I had a vision, a brand, and knew exactly what I wanted to do. My past is my past. I don't make it dictate who I become, but I make it a part of what I become. It's an elephant in the room," he said.

Not long ago, the location around the corner became available, with three times the capacity as his former location and more than double the kitchen space.

"I tried to seize the moment," he said.

Besides two investors he knew, he turned to Indiegogo to see if strangers on the Web would give him a chance to raise $25,000 for the bigger property. He started his online fundraising in August and raised $37,000 in about a month through 275 people.

Now with a staff of more than 12 people in what he calls the premier location in Collingswood, he opened his New York style café for dinner at capacity last week.

In the first two days, he made 500 dinners.

"Kitchen Consigliere Café is home of the sausage meatball," he said, when asked what his favorite dish is. He explained that he uses an exclusive sausage maker. "We make a meatball out of it and we make it in the café. It's probably the biggest seller."

Starting Nov. 18, he will expand his menu and serve lunch.

Lutz said his friends and family are "very proud."

"They say, 'Angelo used to be a gangster and now he's a businessman,' which is fine with me. As Cuba Gooding, Jr. said, 'Show me the money.'"

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