Pop up restaurants are all the rage in the U.K. but they are also gaining ground in the U.S. and have been making a splash in cities like Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and Kansas City.
Opening a traditional restaurant can cost anywhere from $200,000 – $2 million and a food truck can cost as much as $50,000. Pop-up restaurants do not have those kinds of overhead costs. They may rent out a facility for a few days or put up a tent on the sidewalk.
At the heart of pop-ups is the freedom to experiment. You can find some very creative dishes because the chefs do not feel pressure to recreate it exactly the same way each time. And we hate to point out; if it’s not good it, doesn’t matter if you come back because they may not be there long enough for that to happen anyway. It is a gamble, but for people like me, who love variety and trying new things it sounds like heaven!
Pop-up restaurants, also known as temporary supper clubs, are a good way to test the waters and the area before setting down with a permanent location. It also gives them a chance to build customers before they take the plunge in a certain area.
These underground restaurants are hard to keep track of. They may be around for only a few days and then disappear again. The best way to keep in touch with the ones you like is to follow them using social media. Pop-up restaurants rely heavily on Twitter and Facebook to make their debuts a success.
One notable pop-up that graced Tampa in the past is
KitchenBar by Chef Jeannie Pierola (formerly head chef at Bern’s) http://www.facebook.com/pages/KitchenBar/165007900176346
To catch these elusive touring restaurants you will have to search deeper than your local yellow pages. Once you find them, it is best to make a reservation in advance.