Pop Up RestaurantDue to challenging economic times, including increased obstacles to secure financing, entrepreneurs are looking for innovative ways to pursue their dreams. I have previously written about crowd funding, sharing law, and cottage food laws as just some examples of these creative solutions.

Pop up restaurants, where aspiring (and sometimes accomplished) restaurateurs and chefs host intermittent events at discrete locations are another such invention of the developing economy. The events are exclusive by definition, thus adding to the mystique and build up to the limited events.

Rogue Cafe is one such pop up.The restaurant which serves as a weekend only cafe, serves waffles, eggs, and home made pork sausage, using produce from the local farmer's market. Following an article in a local paper, the restaurant appeared on the radar of local authorities, resulting in a visit by Berkeley's health department. Following discussions with the local authorities, the cafe has decided to become a private establishment.

Restaurant Regulations

As I have discussed in regards to Cottage Food Laws, technically, any food making establishment (in California at least), is required to meet certain minimum requirements, and receive regular visits and inspections from the health department. Businesses not in compliance with these laws can be subject to fines and other legal action.

Some interesting aspects of the issue are discussed in the comments to the Berkeleyside article posted above:

"Ah, zoning, the all-purpose straitjacket. Are they hurting anyone?"

"Typical Berkeley in so many ways. We want endless regulations and discussion by the citizenry to control what Safeway does in Oakland or to make foreign policy statements, but yet we think it's fine to just ignore all the health and safety regulations put in place over decades to protect the public. Just wait until a fire starts in an unregulated club that doesn't have enough exits or any fire extinguishers, or until a group gets really sick from eating at some pop-up that doesn't follow appropriate food safety precautions...."

"Instead of running a quasi-legal restaurant in a residential back yard, why not just rent kitchen time at a restaurant that doesn't serve breakfast and do a pop-up cafe there?"

For more information, including how to have brunch at Rogue, see Rogue’s Facebook page.