After Break-In Setback, Fundraiser Launches for "Dr." Dan Drake's Pancake Van


A Dr. Dan Drake pancake creation. - DANIEL DRAKE
  • Daniel Drake
  • A Dr. Dan Drake pancake creation.

Dan Drake, the artist-slash-cook behind Courtesy Diner's nationally famous custom pancakes, officially launched his Kickstarter campaign over the weekend to raise money for his own pancake food truck.

The campaign comes a few weeks ahead of schedule: A burglar broke into Drake's home and stole the $1,500 he had saved from Christmas gifts and tips to bring his culinary dream to life.

See also: Burglar Steals Savings, Tips from "Dr." Dan Drake, Courtesy Diner's Pancake Artist

After four days live, Drake had raised more than $1,000 online, offering backers stickers, wristbands, personal videos and even personal parties to encourage donations toward his $15,000 goal.

Drake, better known as "Dr. Dan the Pancake Man," started designing custom pancakes while working at Courtesy Diner for five years. One of the pancakes made it to Reddit, launching Drake into the kind of fame only Internet virality can provide. Even The Today Show wanted a demonstration.

Drake says his job at Courtesy Diner was always a means to an end, a way to pay for his life while he created art in his off hours. Drake plays in a couple bands and just released his first comic book.

But in the end, it's his day job that led to his big break.

Dr. Dan hard at work. - NANCY STILES
  • Nancy Stiles
  • Dr. Dan hard at work.

"It's so deeply ironic," Drake tells Daily RFT. "I've been working at Courtesy Diner to pay for my art supplies and trying my best to get out of there by playing music and doing art, and it's the fact that I am there that's getting me out of there. My day job is my escape from my day job."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

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