Roundup: Seven pop-ups to pop into

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

With the Columbus food scene growing quickly, it’s natural to see temporary eateries and events pop up here and there, as chefs test concepts and recipes without the commitment of a full restaurant. Here are a handful of pop-ups in progress or coming soon. It’s their nature to be temporary, so catch them soon!

Mashita Noodles at MEATbar (122 S. High St.)

After closing Jobu Ramen in Grandview, John Franke re-opened his traveling noodle cart inside MEATbar downtown. Franke sets up for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays. He serves a hybrid Korean-style ramen with kimchi, then rounds out the menu with bibimbap, kimchi pancakes, burritos and steam buns.

Jailhouse Rock at Little Rock Bar (944 N. Fourth St.) and Scarlet & Grey Cafe (2203 N. High St.)

The Paddy Wagon food truck has put down roots in two bars over the past year: Jailhouse Rock at Little Rock Bar and Jailhouse Cafe inside Scarlet & Grey Cafe. Both pop-ups feature Paddy Wagon’s signature hot dogs, sandwiches and tacos. They’ve also teased a third location coming soon to Rambling House Soda.

Warmth at Ace of Cups (2619 N. High St.)

Lara Pipia hosts a brunch pop-up at Ace of Cups the last Sunday of every month (except for a one-month hiatus in April). Previous menus have featured items like rosemary pork confit hash, beer-pepper biscuits with fried chicken and egg garlic-cream bread pudding. (There are plenty of items aimed at vegan and gluten-free eaters, too.) Enticed by the menu? The next Warmth brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday, March 29.

Challah + Four Thieves Thirst Parlour at The Commissary (1400 Dublin Rd.)

In the few months it’s been open, The Commissary has hosted a number of pop-up meals. The latest is a brunch on Saturday, March 28 pairing brunch items from Challah food truck with cocktails created by Four Thieves Thirst Parlour.

Blu Olive at the Hey Hey (361 E. Whittier St.)

While the Blu Olive food truck continues to trek the streets of Columbus, it’s also the latest in a series of pop-ups at the Hey Hey Bar & Grill in German Village. The dive bar is a backdrop for enjoying Italian-inspired pastas and sandwiches.

J Hot Fish (1117 Oak St.)

Columbus’ most popular pop-up, Hot Chicken Takeover, has outgrown its temporary status and moved on to the North Market (and a food truck). In its wake, J Hot Fish has taken up residence in the Columbus Food Hub in Olde Towne East. From there owner Keith Edwards sells meals of fried fish, cole slaw and fries Thursdays through Saturdays.

Dinner Lab (Various locations)

Dinner Lab is a national organization that hosts pop-up dinners featuring up-and-coming chefs. They launched a Columbus contingent in January. Ticketed meals are hosted in non-traditional spaces like galleries and warehouses. Chefs use the dinners as opportunity to gather feedback directly from diners.

Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast at and authored the guidebook “Breakfast With Nick: Columbus,” with a second edition coming spring 2015. He leads breakfast and brunch tours for Columbus Food Adventures and brewery tours for Columbus Brew Adventures.