'Pop-Ups: The Restaurant' Aims to Be a Permanent Ode to Pop-Culture
Over the last year, pop culturally inspired pop-ups have gained serious steam, and it’s not hard to understand why. Whether it’s Saved by the Bell, Stranger Things or Sailor Moon, the ticketed, often weekend-only experiences speak to our nostalgia and our tastebuds through their themed games, custom menus and, if you’re fortunate, memorabilia and cosplayers. In many ways, it all feels like a mini comic-con right at your friendly neighborhood cafe or bar.
But what if you could turn that temporary experience into a permanent one? That’s precisely what Fullerton, California chef Clinton Jones and his wife Samantha are proposing with their latest Kickstarter. The duo has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to open “Pop-ups: The Restaurant,” a permanent dining experience that would “unite the flavors and creativity of pop culture delicacies with the excitement and exclusivity of pop-up restaurants.”
Cycling into a different “pop-up” every two months, the pop culture restaurant would get a fandom-inspired makeover with a custom food and drink menu, decor, contest, and swag, like special posters and pins. And because fandom stretches beyond things that are deemed traditionally “geeky,” you could see a pop-up celebrating a beloved sports team right after you see one for Super Mario, K-Pop, Riverdale, or even A Christmas Story.
As with most pop-ups, cosplayers would be encouraged to attend, especially during each new cycle’s “Premiere night.” Sold as a fun red carpet event, local fans wouldn’t just get to be the first to try the new food or check out the decor. There would be photo-ops specifically for the talented fans who construct their own spins on their favorite characters, and those photos would then be shared during each cycle’s “Season Finale” party.
If you choose to back the project, you earn tickets, t-shirts, jewel-encrusted goblets and even have a chance to help determine themes and menu items for the upcoming year. The fundraising campaign ends on January 6, so there’s just under a month to make this pop-up a permanent reality.