After a fire destroyed its food truck, Revival Chili is hoping for a fresh start with new GoFundMe | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

After a fire destroyed its food truck, Revival Chili is hoping for a fresh start with new GoFundMe

click to enlarge Jordan Robarge - PHOTO: REVIVAL CHILI
Photo: Revival Chili
Jordan Robarge

On Fri., Aug. 23, the Revival Chili food truck burst into flames in the middle of Interstate 376. No one was injured, but the vehicle was unsalvagable.

Now, Revival Chili is reaching out to Pittsburghers to help the company “rise from the ashes.”

Jordan Robarge started Revival Chili 2017 on the basis of two ideas: “TRUE chili” (chili without beans) and second chances. 

Robarge, who has been cut off from job opportunities because of an underage drinking charge, is working to remove barriers for others. He is dedicated to giving those re-entering the workforce a second chance. The eatery focuses on interviewing and hiring those with employment disadvantages. 

After the shock of the fire wore off, Robarge got back to work. He set up donation jars at Revival Chili’s sister restaurant, Nancy’s Revival, in Wilkinsburg, and rallied his community through a series of YouTube video updates. These donations went directly to Revival employees, who were Robarge’s first concern.

“We don’t want to mess up [employees'] lives by having their pay fluctuate,” Robarge said in a video. 

Two weeks after the fire, Robarge set up a GoFundMe to help rebuild the trailer and collect more for their staff. He noted that the campaign was created in response to “tremendous outreach from the community,” and that they are “hoping to come back stronger than before.”

In the meantime, Revival isn’t letting a fire stop them from slinging chili. The business is going back to its roots — a table and tent — and plan to continue serving the beloved bowls, nachos, and dogs from this setup until a new trailer is up and running. 

“On reflection, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Because of this tragedy, we can not only stabilize our current situation, but expand to impact more human lives,” Robarge comments in a video on the fundraiser page. He says that he, along with the rest of the Revival team, are doing their best to stay positive. 

The goal of Robarge’s campaign is $15,000. In addition to donations, you can support Revival Chili by visiting Nancy’s Revival. To contribute to Revival’s GoFundMe, visit

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