The UK’s strangest pop ups

Ever wondered whether there’s an audience for your pop-up? Don’t worry – if nudist cafes and knitted corner shops can draw a crowd, so can you. Here are some of the quirkiest pop ups we’ve ever heard of. See if you can find some inspiration!

Clothes are optional at The Bunyadi pop up restaurant

Clothes are optional at The Bunyadi pop up restaurant.

The Bunyadi…London recently got its very own “clothes-optional” restaurant. The Bunyadi opened in June on a first-come first-served basis – and the current number of applications is over 45,000 people. The restaurant itself is split into two sections: “clothed” and “pure” – although why anybody would go to a nudist restaurant to dine fully covered is beyond us (thankfully, phones are banned inside the premises). Perhaps most worryingly, the food is prepared on a wood-flame grill…

London's first water-only bar

London’s water-only bar, raising awareness for RNLI.

H2Only…Last year, Shoreditch saw the opening of H2Only, a pop-up bar serving tap water and nothing else. Reception was mixed, as you might expect, but the bar was for a good cause: the franchise was part of a scheme to raise awareness of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) by encouraging people to save money on expensive drinks, drink more tap water, and donate the savings.

All products on sale here were hand-stitched in felt.

All products on sale here were hand-stitched in felt.

The Cornershop… The Cornershop was the brainchild of artist and creator Lucy Sparrow, crowdfunded on Kickstarter and created over seven months. It was, in essence, a normal grocery store – but every single thing in it, from the cat food to the magazines, was hand-stitched in felt. When asked why she created the project, Sparrow said “’I’ve always made big things. I like coming up with huge projects where the result is bigger than me and it takes over my life. I’m very obsessive and I want that to come across in the work and get people thinking “Who would be crazy enough to do this?”

A pop up adventure, with domestic-themed rooms.

A pop up adventure, with domestic-themed rooms.

Keeping Up With the Joneses…A bizarrely silly, playful pop-up adventure awaited London’s excited event-goers recently; Keeping Up With the Joneses was spread across seven “domestic-themed” rooms, featuring surprises like detergent bottles filled with champagne in the bathroom, ongoing pillow fights in the bedroom, and an entire room dedicated to one giant dishwasher. It lasted just three days, during which time hundreds of visitors were guided through in groups and delivered to the garden bar to party the whole night through.

In a private pop up restaurant, hosts open their own homes to guests.

In a private pop up restaurant, hosts open their own homes to guests.

Private dining…Perhaps the strangest trend we’ve seen so far is the The private pop-up restaurant, in which people open up their own homes for an evening or two and turn their houses into restaurants. It’s much like a dinner party, but this way at least, the hosts can charge a handsome price. If you’re ever worried that you’re not offering your customers enough, remember that somewhere in South London is somebody who’s paid £30 to eat their dinner in somebody else’s living room!

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