Skip To The Main Content

Mid-America Blog

Pop Up in a Pop Up

Written by Lindsey Shaw

Detroit the city that once was but will be again!   Vacant restaurant spaces are shining bright again as new creative chefs are taking over and turning their dreams into realities.  On any given night, you will almost always be able to find a pop-up event. Granted it may take some work to be in on the din of what is going on that night.  Stumbling upon a flyer by popping into a one-off coffee shop is how I came across the Ugly Dumping pop-up.  The dumpling delights were presented by a line cook of a new Detroit restaurant & his friend whose job was to take orders and payments. A simple menu of 3 dumpling options (veggie, meat, and chicken) and 1 fried rice.  This was the line cooks first run at his own gig and said it was a success!  I do hope he does it again or even opens a full time dumpling bar!  New is a relative word in the Detroit food scene; we are seeing new local restaurants opening every other week, if not every!

Nationally, Detroit Food is recognized by causal diner style restaurants called Coney Islands & the infamous Coney Dogs ; a hot dog topped with all-meat chili, onions and mustard. As well as its Sicilian style square pizza with crispy thick crust and marinara topping. Pockets of Detroit and its suburbs present their own food specialties.

 Southwest Detroit is historically known for its vibrant Mexican Community and has been coined “Mexicantown”. However, southwest Detroit Native Chef George Azar is turning up the food scene with his pop-up called Flowers of Vietnam.  Chef Azar most notably has worked at the three star Michelin-rated Alinea in Chicago, and award winning Bouchon in Las Vegas.   Flowers of Vietnam is only open on Saturday and Sunday night's beginning at 6PM until they run out of food … which believe me does happen! It has gained notable attention for its limited business hours due to being inside an operating Coney Island.  The media says it’s a Vietnamese supper club of sorts with menu items like pho, Bun Thit Nuong (a cold rice vermicelli noodle dish topped with meat) or a whole fried snapper. I’m a huge fun of their Korean fried chicken wings covered in a savory tangy caramel sauce.  There is a Live DJ bumping beats while you enjoy your meal.

It’s no doubt that Detroit is grabbing the media’s attention with its booming foodie fare.  Venues such as Revolver in Hamtramck, a city that sits right outside of Detroit, has become a permanent pop-up venue. Revolver pre-sells dinner tickets a minimum $50/person. Chefs fly in from all over the US to present to the Detroit crowds.  Revolver will be opening a 2nd location closer to the suburbs next year.

Chefs are getting creative not only in by introducing new cuisines but where they introduce it. Most recently I attended one inside a former bank that turned into a Chinese restaurant that than sat vacant for a number of years.  The Bank Suey building in Hamtramck is used for workshops and community gathers but with a partially equipped kitchen in the back they can bring in Chefs at a low cost ticket of $15-20 for a dank dinner. This pop-up was called the Ugly Egg Roll, where you could customize your own or go along with one of the pre-planned menu items.

The Detroit food scene is a must-watch as Chefs are being given the opportunity to push the limits of palates and spur up excitement for eager crowds.  By the time you’ve finished this blog another pop-up or two could have come and went! Get to Detroit to be a part of foodie action.

Lindsey Shaw dumpling 

Lindsey Shaw | Sales Associate
Mid-America Real Estate-Michigan, Inc.
38500 Woodward Avenue, Suite 100 | Bloomfield Hills, MI  48304
Phone: 248.855.6800 | Fax: 248.839.5213 | Web Design
Website designed and developed by, Inc.