10 Great Pop Up Restaurants

Floating Plastic Dining Room

A raft made of 1,672 2-liter plastic bottles plays host to a lovely floating restaurant in Vancouver. The Plastic Dining Room is sponsored by the School of Fish Foundation and catered by C Restaurant, moored at the False Creek Yacht Club. Guests seated inside the dining room not only enjoyed fine meals and views of the water, but also reclaimed pinewood interiors and recycled glass chandeliers.

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Electrolux Pop-Up Restaurant

Two pop-up restaurants by Swedish appliance brand Electrolux traveled across the world to perch atop famous buildings, monuments and cliffs including the arc of the Parc du Cinguantenaire in Brussels. The kitchens were equipped with Electrolux appliances, of course, and the name of the company was be emblazoned on the cubes’ exteriosr. The cubes themselves, designed by Italian architects Park Associati, featured a laser-cut aluminum skin and room for 18 to dine.

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MuvBox Shipping Container Restaurant, Montreal

Tucked in a corner of the Old Port in Montreal is Müvbox, a portable restaurant powered with solar panels that unfolds from a sleek rectangular volume into a beautiful modern cafe with outdoor tables and a canopy. Owner Daniel Noiseux of Montreal’s Pizzalolle restaurants fitted a kitchen and seating for 28 guests into a standard 28-foot shipping container with a floor made from recycled tires. It serves fresh, local and gourmet foods including local specialties like Madeleine lobster and Brome Lake duck.

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The Deptford Project Cafe, London

A 1960s commuter train carriage serves as an adorable, brightly-colored restaurant by graphic designer Morag Myerscough. The Deptford Project Cafe is part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the railway yard of the Deptford area in south east London. Its bathroom is a garden shed made to look like a shrine to Elvis Presley.

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Pop-Up Restaurant on Île Seguin in Paris

The “traveling toolbox” that is the BMW Guggenheim Lab packed up and left its humble spot on New York’s Houston Street yesterday with a closing party, and the mobile lab is now on its way to Berlin, where it is scheduled to reopen in spring 2012. Where are enthusiasts of pop-up architecture to look to in the interim? 1024 Architecture, the French collective most known for their audiovisual architectural light shows, has recently built a temporary open-air restaurant on Île Seguin in Paris. The extraordinary structure is part barge, part greenhouse, part oil platform and part wooden house, a peculiar hybrid that will soon disappear without a trace.

1024’s pop-up fine dining destination is meant to accompany the reconstruction of Île Seguin, the former home of a Renault car factory built in the 1930s. Architect Jean Nouvel is currently leading an initiative to transform the island into a cultural hub.  The restaurant, which serves 100% organic food prepared by star chef Arnaud Daguin, draws heavily from the theme of rebuilding: the structure is essentially a large box of unfinished wood fiber insulation suspended by a pitched, scaffold-like construction attached with red shipping containers. Embracing the liminal state of an island completely under construction, 1024 has taken the architecture of anticipation and transformed it into a dazzling, ephemeral structure. Illuminated with LED lights, the restaurant projects the sensationalism of a stadium at night, presenting itself as a glittering gem in a “garden of foreshadowing.

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The Cardboard Cafe

British interior architectural consultants B3 Designers stacked and hot-glued hundreds of cardboard boxes to create a temporary cafe in an alley beside their office during the London Design Festival. The boxes were slightly staggered and painted orange on either end to mimic the look of bricks. For opening night, the designers encouraged their guests to wear cardboard clothing as they enjoyed cocktails in cardboard cups.

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Singapore Takeout: Pop-Up Kitchen in a Shipping Container

Take a mobile shipping container and add to it nine cities and ten chefs. What do you get? Singapore Takeout: a revolutionary mash-up between hawker-style street food, a pop-up kitchen, and a food truck. Trendsetting foodies, consider this your warning: this post may just set your heart aflutter.

Singapore Takeout clearly isn’t your typical meals on wheels. For one, the 20-foot by eight-foot custom-made shipping container unfolds both into a 30-seat restaurant and a working kitchen – with such must-have professional amenities like induction cookers and a salamander. Here, ten up-and-coming Singaporean chefs cook up inspired Singapore cuisine that runs the gamete from traditional to contemporary. We’re talking lemongrass infused laksa dumplings, chocolate, foie gras and pork xiao long bao, and a modern reinterpretation of ice kachang. The roster of chefs includes some of Singapore’s leading talents such as Ignatius Chan of Iggy’s, one of San Pellegrino’s top 50 restaurants in the world, and Willin Low from the cutting-edge, Wild Rocket.

Together, the chefs and container are on a global tour to import the flavors of Singapore to a city near you. For 3-days at a time, Singapore Takeout will touch down in everywhere from Moscow to Delhi, Paris to Dubai, New York to Hong Kong. In each stop, local chefs will unite with the Singapore team to introduce the world to the city’s vibrant dining scene, from hawker eats to fine-dining delights.

Get your fork on the ready and check out when they’ll touch down near you. A shipping container surely has never looked or tasted so good.

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Pop-Up Taco Joint La Carnita, Toronto, Canada

On a Sunday night in December, in a cavernous, subterranean space in a small office building on Bathurst St. near Bloor, in Toronto, there are 45 people gathered. Each person has paid $150 to attend the Mexican feast hosted by underground supper club Charlie’s Burgers.  The price is much steeper than Richmond’s regular $10 charge for three tacos at his pop-up La Carnita, but this is one of Charlie’s Burgers’ less expensive meals. Tonight, diners will eat foie gras and plantain gorditas, lobster tacos and horchata cocktails.  Richmond, 36, has no professional training or experience as a cook. He is the design director at Toronto firm One Method. Yet since La Carnita launched in July, serving only during the lunch hour, he has magnetized Toronto foodsters’ attention with his travelling taco party.

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Nomiya Temporary Rooftop Restaurant

Le Palais de Tokyo museum in Paris temporarily played host to a transportable pod restaurant called Nomiya in 2009. The work of Parisian architect Pascal Grasso, Nomiya featured a dining room for twelve with panoramic views of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. At night, it was illuminated like a lantern, with purple lights shining through its glass cabin and perforated metal screen.

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LudoBites Guerrilla-Style ‘Touring’ Restaurant

Chef Ludo Lefebvre brings his cuisine to locations around the nation as part of his Sundance Channel show, ‘Ludo Bites America’. Each incarnation of LudoBites has overtaken an unused space, initially in the Los Angeles area, in guerrilla fashion (though not, of course, without the permission of the property owners.) Though perhaps more known for his buffalo hunting and eating thanks to the reality show, Lefebvre’s cuisine draws massive sell-out crowds to each temporary installment of the restaurant.

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About Mr Miyagi

Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Canada’s pop-up purveyors « Order Up - 12/01/2012
  2. OneMethod Digital + Design - 16/01/2012
  3. La Carnita « - 09/03/2012

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