© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

From Private Homes To Rented Spaces, Pop-Up Restaurants Make Their Mark On St. Louis Food Scene

Kayla Doughty assists guests at ramen x rui, the pop-up Steven Pursely hosts at his apartment.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine
Kayla Doughty assists guests at Ramen x Rui, the pop-up Steven Pursley hosts at his apartment.

The underground pop-up restaurant scene is growing, and St. Louis is no exception. Pop-ups are a way for amateur chefs to experiment with selling their cuisine without the commitment of daily catering and operating from a brick-and-mortar shop. They also help talented newcomers build a following and give diners a chance to taste the latest and greatest.

They are set up in the kitchens of established restaurants, held in private homes and can even be found on a downtown roof. Established local chefs like Gerard Craft, Michael Gallina and Mike Randolph host pop-ups around a new opening or to scratch a creative itch, while others like Logan Ely use them to test a market and figure out how to run a business. 

St. Louis on the Air’s latest Sound Bites segment with Sauce Magazine explored how and why people start their own pop-ups, and how patrons can find them. Joining the conversation were Sauce managing editor Heather Hughes and pop-up owners Chelsie Hellige of Spirit House and Steven Pursley of Ramen x Rui.

Listen to the full discussion: 

"St. Louis on the Air" Extended

Producer Lara Hamdan recently spoke to restaurant owners Charlene Lopez-Young and Darren Young of The Fattened Caf about how they went about establishing their Filipino-American barbecue pop-up: 

        View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Thefattenedcaf (@thefattenedcaf) on Aug 16, 2019 at 9:21am PDT

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

Stay Connected
Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.
Ways To Subscribe

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.