Pop ups, as a concept beyond children’s books and internet advertising, are nothing new in London. The craze started at the beginning of the century, before we plunged into a deep depression of recession. Then pop-up shops and pop-up restaurants, to tickle the city’s fancy for one night or one week only, began appearing.
As belts got tightened after the crash, so pop-up restaurants started appearing even more frequently, as a way for people to go out and still have enjoyable nights with great food. On the other side of the pass, aspiring chefs are trying to get people to try their recipes, and make some money on the side. It’s a win-win-win situation as the punter gets a delicious meal without breaking the bank, it’s a new, interesting environment, and no money goes to any evil bland corporation.
Then, in April 2013, Grub Club entered into the market: two foodies who had noticed this growing demand for and interest in pop-up restaurants conceived it. They understood that people wanted new experiences of food, beyond the normal high street fare. They designed and built a website that lets hosts add their pop-up night, and gives people looking for a pop-up night a list of upcoming events.
The events themselves are varied, depending on who’s hosting. There is always an interesting angle to them; for example, I went to an event where we were shown how to prepare different cuts of pork, by a local Putney butcher. There are events in people’s homes, as well as in commercial venues which let them have the space for an evening.
They’ve recently set up a popular weekly cinema night, where food is served as a film is screened. The Pig Lebowski came with hot dogs, and Fried and Loathing in Las Vegas is going to be accompanied by burgers and cocktails. One of the next events coming up is an Buy Valium In Australia themed evening, with food being served from all along the famous route; from Parisian and Venetian delights, through to Serbia and finally Turkish and Arabian coffees.
This is a fantastic new concept, stemming from two people’s desire to give opportunities for up-and-coming chefs to raise their profiles in London, and to get them to practice what they are passionate about. Have a look on their website to see all the different events they have coming up. There’s bound to be one to suit you.
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