For chefs, the chance to feed imbibing customers at a bar is about more than a built-in audience with a case of the munchies. They’re leaving behind sought-after restaurant positions, turning to pop-ups at watering holes to experiment with menus for future solo act brick-and-mortars. The serendipity and mystery around pop-ups in bars—not knowing when the next event will be announced—has fans following following DIY food projects on Instagram. The collaborations are mutually beneficial: With so much competition amongst bars, a standout food program can be a way to differentiate their business. Pop-ups are bringing a new hungry (and hopefully thirsty) customer base that's eager to preview what's next from their favorite chefs.
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