Three handcrafted drumheads, evoking the spirit of traditional Native American tribal drums, line the back bar wall and help to convey the concept’s theme.
Just a few years ago, no one had heard of pop-up restaurants, and now they’re seemingly everywhere you turn. And there’s good reason for that. Pop-up restaurants can be test runs, creative exercises and financially rewarding endeavors. More brick-and-mortar locations are dipping into the trend. One of the many challenges in hosting a pop-up restaurant is coming up with a design that looks permanent but is anything but — while doing so in a cost-effective and authentic way. Here, we spotlight three very different kinds of pop-ups with very different goals.
Competition for the dining dollar is fiercer than ever. High-quality options are available from a multitude of restaurants; grocery stores have entered the fray with hot and cold bars and even cooked-to-order offerings; takeout-only businesses specialize in pre-portioned meals for the calorie-conscious; and mail-order services give people all the ingredients they need to make a delicious meal at home. With so many choices available to consumers, offering good food in a comfortable environment may not be enough.
When restaurant design works — really works — there’s so much more to it than meets the eye. Sure, eye candy’s nice, and a great-looking space is an increasingly competitive advantage in this age of Pinterest and Instagram. But peel back the layers, and you’ll find that designs that work exceptionally well do so because the design team immersed itself in brand genetics, multifaceted storytelling and operational flow, pulling in many diverse disciplines to ensure all work in concert from initial idea to operation.