Although not a new concept, the past 5 years have seen a growing trend in pop-up restaurants; giving chefs and restaurateurs the chance to really think outside the box when it comes to food and drink. I love a pop-up because they provide innovative, interesting ways to enjoy food (and I really do enjoy food) and drink. Often encouraging you to try new tastes, combinations, and environments.
On a recent business trip to Brussels, I attended an evening reception at a summer pop-up called Rooftop 58, a very cool bar & restaurant set up on the top floor of a multi-storey car park with incredible 360 degree views of the city. Having first convinced the taxi driver that yes, I was completely sure the restaurant was in the car park, I took the lift to the 9th floor and then walked up the ramp (the one cars would usually use to move between parking levels) to be greeted by the ‘door man’ (not so much a door as a steel gate).
Rooftop 58 sits at the far end of the car park and sits in stunning contrast to the drab parking spaces in its foreground. It really was an amazing venue to visit. I could happily spend Fridays after-work up there soaking in the sun, watching the city around me and drinking a lovely cold glass (or two) of wine.
My home city, Birmingham, is also no stranger to hosting fabulous pop-ups with popular The Wilderness (formally Nomad) starting life as a pop up before finding its permanent home on Dudley Street, and others including Kitchen Garden Cafe, Urban Coffee Company and even Edgbaston Cricket Stadium hosting various pop-up events.
Last Thursday, saw the second of Urban Coffee’s summer pop-ups at their newly-licensed Jewellery Quarter cafe. The first, an excellent dual-hosted event with the gin legends from 40 St Pauls, saw guests enjoy a delicious 7 course tasting menu matched perfectly throughout with gin cocktails.
The second event, named Swine & Cider, gave guests exactly that – a comprehensive set menu of delicious pork dishes accompanied by a list of 6 ciders to purchase alongside the food.
I hadn’t been feeling well all day so didn’t have much of an appetite – to the surprise of my friends who have never known me not to finish a meal. Thankfully though, the lovely chef made me up a box of pulled pork to take home and have for lunch the next day!
If you’ve eaten or had drinks at any great pop-ups in your town, let me know. Always love to know where to find amazing food and drink experiences.