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News / Food & Drink

If you had a pop-up restaurant res tonight at Coachella, you're SOL

Kogi at Coachella
Photograph: Erin Kuschner

It's Day 1 of Coachella and the food game is already seriously strong: solid burgers, a tent called Rosé all Day that's completely dedicated to rosé (heyo!), and more vegan stands than we can wrap our minds around. But if you were counting on dining at one of the fest's pop-up restaurants tonight, you should probably make other plans.

I had a reservation at 7pm for The Gadarene Swine's pop-up dinner, a restaurant that, along with POT and Terrine, are offering VIP pass holders prix-fixe dining experiences all three days of the festival for $50 per person, per night. At 3:30pm, I received a text from Reserve—the app behind the pop-ups—saying the following:

"We have an important update about your reservation today at a pop-up restaurant at Coachella. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of our control, the pop-up restaurants in the main VIP area will not be operating on Friday."

The text went on to apologize for the inconvenience and offered a re-booking for Saturday or Sunday. Curious, I texted back asking the reason behind the cancellation, then eventually made my way over to the VIP tent where the dinners were supposed to be happening. A Reserve booth was set up and manned by two very nice, albeit slightly frazzled, women who cited logistical issues. Looking past their booth, though, it was clear that "logistical issues" translated to "the construction team is just arriving and building the sets as we speak." A crew unloading tables and drills were working to produce a makeshift dining room, but it was obvious that there wouldn't be a working kitchen until tomorrow.

After re-booking my reservation, I happened to run into Phillip Frankland Lee, chef at The Gadarene Swine. I asked him what was up. "Yeah, they just didn't have their shit together," he said. "I can't have a dinner without a kitchen."

Here's hoping the pop-ups are ready for tomorrow. Until then, I'll be at The Church Key, sucking down some boozy Otter Pops in this Indio heat.