The pop up restaurant craze is taking Springfield by storm. If you haven’t heard of them before, a pop up restaurant is a unique, often high end meal service that doesn’t have a brick and mortar storefront. They’re often hosted with existing restaurants or establishments and only offer their food for a limited time. We’ve seen some really interesting examples show up in town and we’re not anticipating them going away any time soon. Here are 4 pop ups to keep an eye out for in Springfield. If you’re interested in going, you’d better act fast when you see an announcement because seating is limited!
Canvas was one of the first pop ups on the scene in Springfield. It started out as a sporadic project to offer high end cuisine and turned into a monthly event. After the project started to resonate with Springfield’s foodies, owner Drake Tillman decided to start looking for a physical location to open a pair of restaurants. Tillman plans to open Elkhart and The Robberson in 2019. The Elkhart will continue their beautiful plates and fresh foods. The Robberson will be a lunch spot by day and a bar and lounge in the evenings.
At his pop ups, Tillman focuses on local ingredients and a variety of flavors. According to Feast Magazine, they usually seat about 20 people at these limited dinner services, so you’ve gotta act fast to secure a seat. That is, until his two new restaurants open next year! Once they get closer to opening, the popups will become more infrequent and eventually he’ll transition into only serving at the Elkhart and the Robberson. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!
The team who makes up Progress wanted to share their love of food with the city of Springfield, but they wanted to do it on their own terms. They didn’t want to be held down to the same menu every night or the same scenery for every service. That’s why they chose the venue of the pop up. They never serve the same thing twice. Every menu is masterfully planned by chef Daniel Ernce and sous chef Travis Jenkins.
“Our philosophy is really much broader than simply food.” says Ernce, “we have a really simple philosophy in regards to food: make food that is delicious and memorable.”
Every time they hold a service they challenge themselves and their customers with multi-course meals that provide a cornucopia of flavors and pairings with fine beverages. Their front of house expert, Cassidy Rollins is not only a deft manager of customer service, she’s also a skilled mixologist and is often referred to as the Cocktail Queen. Past menus include a Nordic themed menu with a whopping 11 courses, a co-op with Mother’s Brewery and a pork-themed service where each dish used the ingredient. Creativity is off the charts with this squad. It’s more than just another dinner, it’s an experience that you won’t soon forget.
Element are the new kids on the bl0ck in Springfield’s pop up scene. They’ve been hosting dinners since late last year and have been recognized by Feast, the Springfield News-Leader and plenty more since their inception. Chefs Branden Dinger and Caleb Stangroom are both veterans of the Order’s kitchen and learned under recently departed chef Zach White. The two chefs are joined by Ryan Michael, who handles the beverages during services. Dinners are usually between 5 and 12 courses with Michael’s cocktails scattered throughout. The March pop up is already sold out, but you can get tickets to the April event at Q Enoteca, right here!
Unlike the three previously mentioned pop ups, Vito’s does have a physical location where chef and owner Vito Palmietto regularly does dinner service, cooking classes and chef dinners. Vito’s is known for its creative pizzas, pastas and antipastos. In addition to lunch and dinner services on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Vito’s does pop ups events. He doesn’t have any scheduled at the moment, but you can always follow his page on Facebook and check out his upcoming events on his website!