I believe the year was 2013 when the “pop-up” dining concept took off for me. It was such a wild and crazy concept, and I wanted to be involved in every aspect of it! The thought of an abandoned building being flipped into a beautiful venue for no other reason that to dine and chill, was like putting the Gobstopper in front of Willie Wonka. My sole mission in life was to experience this new style of dining as much as possible.
Fast forward to 2016, and the world is well acquainted with the ever popular pop-up dining experience and has in fact expanded from empty buildings to massive takeovers. Chefs are staking claim on kitchens throughout the city; some proclaiming street corners as their own. While there has been significant growth in the pop-up culinary world, one group in Columbus is working hard to maintain an organic environment to the concept. Some prefer standard menu items and regular spots, but one local group strives to break the mold, creating dynamic menus that challenge master chefs and seasoned mixologists. Armed with one consistent message and goal, there are Here To Disrupt.
My first experience with Here To Disrupt was magnificent. It was the ultimate battle royale of food and drink. Two chefs. Two mixologists. Head to Head Combat. The tension in the air was thick. There could only be one winner; one fan favorite. Only one fried chicken could survive the scrutiny of the people. A side was destined to slam harder than another. It was any man’s guess on how the paired cocktails could hold up against the demands of the crowd. Did we want pre-event cocktails? Absolutely! Were they served with a smile? Undoubtedly so! Is this rhetoric leading us anywhere? No! Alright, I guess it’s time to move on then.
Here To Disrupt doesn’t always announce their venue when the event is initially posted. This leaves spectators to ponder possible pop-up places for the popular event.
Derek Reno and Alex Beatty of G. Michael’s graciously served the room drinks all night long. I must say I found both to be rather enjoyable company, and their drink handling skills were top shelf.
There’s a fine line between making and mixing drinks. Watch Mr. Derek Reno of The Reno Reserve put the final touch on this fantabulous drink.
There was this really cool cat who simply went by Mattey that seemed to be everywhere, armed with a huge smile and southern hospitality. When I needed my drink refreshed he was there. Someone accidentally took my water; Mattey appeared with a new glass. I wanted a piece of chicken to take home; I was handed a piece of foil and a chicken leg.
Speaking of the food – it was incredible. The menu was total comfort food. Fried chicken, okra, mac and cheese, baked beans, biscuits – y’all they slayed in that kitchen! It was such a privilege to be served entrees from two young, eager chefs in the city that are hustling hard to make their name known in the city’s culinary scene.
Want to spice up your normal dining experience? Follow Here to Disrupt on Instagram to stay up to date on their pop-up schedule.
Until next time, eat local!