The power of the pop-up to launch new concepts or garner attention for chefs with a wide range of culinary talent is one to be harnessed; from Lazy Bear to Mission Chinese Food, so many of our beloved favorites have popped out of oblivion into wild success. The spontaneity of the format, combined with temporary nature of the project, enables a chef to flex his/her culinary muscles and play, especially before committing to a longer term project like a full restaurant.
Undeniably cool East Bay native David Nayfeld and partner-in-crime Angela Pinkerton met at New York City’s temple to fine dining Eleven Madison Park, where they both honed their skills. Now, as they await the opening of their new pasta-forward restaurant, Che Fico, slated to open on Divisadero Street in San Francisco’s popular NOPA neighborhood in several months, they’ve popped up an experience of their own.
“The idea spurred when Angela and I had been waiting for our restaurant to be built,” explains Nayfeld. “We were in the market to do something creative — and pay our bills while we’re at it.” The timing was perfect as the Roosevelt Tamale Parlor in SF’s Mission was on the verge of selling, so the restaurateurs hopped on the opportunity to bring to life their little creative experiment.
“This is very much like an art project for us—I go to the market, see something cool, and then do whatever we want. We get to be creative and have a chance to do something we don’t usually get a chance to do.” Sounds fun, no?