As the name suggests, pop ups appear in unexpected places and stay for a limited time. In recent years, following the global financial crash, they started appearing in abandoned retail premises on high streets all over Britain. But pop up restaurants aren’t a new phenomenon. They’ve actually been going since the 1960s, when they were called Supper Clubs.
These days they’re set up for a broad range of purposes. You’re thinking about opening a new restaurant? A pop up is a good way to put your toe in the proverbial water and see if the concept has wings. Chefs, well known and new to the scene, test innovative new recipes at pop ups, the perfect way to achieve total creative freedom and deliver unique culinary adventures to punters. Others use a pop up to gather evidence that their idea for a fully-fledged food outlet idea is worth investing in. Some pop ups are harnessed to raise money for charity, others are set up just for fun.
One of the coolest things about them is their location. Imagine eating exceptional food in an old aircraft hangar, a derelict cinema, a barn, a roof garden with epic city views, an old church or food market, a bank vault or underground reservoir, an attic above an ancient pub, WW2 bomb shelter or disused cinema… wherever there’s space, energy, water and permission to be had. Having said that, some pop up restaurants don’t bother with official licenses and insurance, others go the legal route with all the right temporary permits. It depends how far ‘underground’ you’re prepared to go!
About Restaurant Day
Restaurant Day is celebrated worldwide four times a year, encouraging people to create their own temporary restaurants, cafés and bars for just one day. The event was dreamed up in 2011 by a bunch of Finns from Helsinki, Timo Santala, Olli Sirén and Antti Tuomola, who created the event to celebrate food culture. More than 3,600 one-day restaurants are opened every year by over 12,000 restaurateurs in 43 different countries including Aruba, Brazil, Denmark, England, Guyana, Iceland, Kazakhstan and Mozambique.
About our hand painted signs for pop ups
We’re seeing a growing number of talented chefs investing in a hand painted sign for their pop up eateries. They’re perfectly portable, easy to move around when a pop up changes venues. The designs are inspired by beautiful old vintage signage, full of quirky personality. We use gorgeous old reclaimed wood, specially chosen for its lovely patina and character. And if you choose our light up signage you’ll adore the authentic fairground vibe we create thanks to special bulbs and finishes we’ve sourced. Even the twisted fabric flex we use comes with a cool vintage feel.
Where to find pop up restaurants near you
Obviously pop ups and social media are a match made in heaven, and networks like Facebook and Twitter are fertile ground if you want to market and advertise a pop up. They’re also the place to go for invitations, directions and bookings. And Google is your best friend – search for pop up food in your area and you should find up to date listings.
If you’re thinking about getting into pop ups, let’s talk about creating a unique light up sign that’ll support your brand beautifully, inspire punters and sit at the centre of your advertising and marketing campaigns.