Popping Up But Not Popping Out

Posted in Trends on July 11, 2012

The pop-up has gained popularity recently as a result of a plethora of young chefs looking to get their name out there. By definition, pop-ups have an expiration date, but what to do when the masses beg for more?

In the case of Mission Chinese Food, owner Danny Bowien not only made his San Fran restaurant permanent, but also expanded to the opposite coast with his new digs on Orchard St. For some, it doesn’t always end so well, as was the case with John Fraser’s What Happens When, which closed last year several months ahead of schedule due to liquor license issues.

The current hot pop-up is Frej in Williamsburg, where a 5-course new-Nordic tasting can be had for a mere $45 bucks. This goes down Monday-Wednesday only at the Kinfolk Studios, and due to the lack of an announced end date, could pop-out at any time. A recent request for a reservation reveals they are all booked up through July, so it may be tough for them to pack up their knives anytime soon.

The moral of this story for chefs looking to pop up? Make sure you find a venue that has its affairs in order, and plan for the future, whether that plan is an exit strategy or a business plan for a permanent location in the case that the masses demand an encore.