Pop-Up Dining Taking Off in L.A. (Could Phoenix Be Next?)

Want to open a restaurant but can't handle the overhead? Cook in the moment with a temporary eatery.

Consider what L.A. chef Ludo Lefebvre is doing with his insanely popular "pop-up restaurant" LudoBites, featured on NPR's Morning Edition today. Every couple months, he temporarily takes over an existing restaurant and turns it into "the culinary equivalent of a rave." (We've heard that comparison before, with secret dinner clubs and food trucks.)

The ephemeral nature of his white-hot eatery -- where dishes like caramel souffle with sea salt ice cream are attracting food fanatics, bloggers, and restaurant critics from across the city -- is a concept I could see taking off in Arizona. Who knows? Maybe the floundering economy, and especially the abundance of vacancies in the commercial real estate market, could lead to a crop of creative dining spots that flourish for a brief time before disappearing.

It's already happening in the local art community, where short-term pop-up galleries have helped revitalize Marshall Way in Scottsdale.

Food for thought.

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Michele Laudig
Contact: Michele Laudig