The new web satire series, Detroit (Blank) City from the guys and gals over at Cass Corridor Films has been making the rounds amongst local watchers and writers, but there's an angle in their humor that hits a particular Eater concern square on the head.
That concern, of course, is the proliferation of the pop-up. The slow but certain rise of pop-up restaurants, clothing stores and even friendly yet increasingly mobile neighborhood coffee shops has hit the Motor City the way that quaint and surprising pop-up parks hit more densely populated cities like New York or Los Angeles.
The first two episodes of the series dropped on Vimeo three weeks ago, but the harshly mocking send-up of the "Let's Save Detroit...Yesterday!" crowd made an appearance on Huffington Post Detroit and other local sites Thursday afternoon.
In the "Detroit Pop-Up City" episode, a supposed Channel 4 reporter interviews "Regina Miller," the founder and hard-at-work construction artist behind a pop-up food shop called Ham & Jam.
"We're gonna try and be here about once a week," the character says, closely mirroring the mentality of many would-be pop-ups that fade in and out without regular hours or customers. "We just wanna feel the flow of the neighborhood, wanna feel it out, wanna see what's going on. And we just hope it works out."
Spontaneity and creative invention are key ingredients in a successful restaurant concept, and the risk involved in creating even a pop-up cafe is significant. But the "here now, gone tomorrow" approach has made some residents wary to give their hearts and hard-earned dollars over to these entrepreneurs with the temporary doors.
Do pop-up restaurants have a future in the city? Or is it high time for more realistic and permanent business investment in the neighborhoods?
· 'Detroit (Blank) City' Series Asks Important Questions In Ep. 2 [HuffPost Detroit]
· 'Detroit (Blank) City' [Official]
· Park Here, An Indoor Pop-Up Park in New York City [Laughing Squid]
· Pop-Up No More: Always Brewing is Renovated and Ready [Curbed Detroit]