Ordinance would allow temporary, ‘pop-up’ uses

The City Council is scheduled to adopt an ordinance Monday night that would allow property owners to use vacant storefronts as “pop-up” galleries or cafes until a tenant can fill the space.

City Council President Samson Steinman said the amendment will strengthen the city’s current outdoor dining ordinance while also allowing the temporary use of vacant storefronts for such things as “pop-up” galleries or cafes.

As an example, he cited an Irving Street property currently under renovation (across from the Klavierhaus Piano Conservatory) that is likely to participate. The ordinance would amend existing regulations to include permanent or temporary food establishments and outlines the application process, which includes a $45 fee.

Pop-galleries are being employed in Chicago’s Loop area and this 2009 story from The New York Times details various neighborhoods in New York City where the initiative has been employed. Some places have even used parking spaces to create “pop-up cafes” — decked out with seating, tables and plants — including Lower Manhattan, Westport, Conn., and Austin, Texas.

10 thoughts on “Ordinance would allow temporary, ‘pop-up’ uses”

  1. Just how 'temporary' is temporary? And do these establishments have to follow the building code and Food & health codes?

  2. Many cities to this type of thing. I rent lofts, warehouses etc. in Brooklyn/nyc for events I do, and I go to pop up galleries in many cities I have traveled too.This concepts works because it is somewhat of a test for businesses to try out the area. Example of this is similar to the Art Basal in Miami. Established art houses from around the world used vacant building/warehouses during the Art Basal, now they are buying the building and setting up permanent locations there. Management and a good solid plan are instrumental in the success but this has proven to be successful. I applaud Rahway City Council for taken this route. Excellent!

  3. Tabula,I does sound like a great idea, using vacant spaces for galleries & things..how do they handle the 'cafe' pop-up where food & drink are involved?

  4. fantastic, how do we get info on bieng part of it…my attempts to find a space that 's not part of a cluster of foreclosures is frustrating me and I'm about to giveup.

  5. archjjg,The amendment to the ordinance is within a second about "retail food establishment" and it specifically adds "permanent or temporary" when referencing "any fixed or mobile restaurant.You'll notice the end of that paragraph refers to meeting "special provisions of Regulation 8." I get the impression that's got something to do with food, handling, etc. Here's a link to the full amendment as passed. Hope this helps:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OCqEqab1o38gdFF36nZt_cWYxxkxDErX98NhhAjCrPs/edit

  6. Archjjg- Truly underground pop-up restaurants don’t usually bother with licenses or insurance, but I highly doubt Rahway is proposing that… It’s different for each city, but lot of pop-ups start out by upcoming chef or entrepreneurs dipping their toes in the water before investing $$ in permanent space. They gain a following by announcing locations and menu items on Twitter or Facebook. I could be mistaken but in NYC, the health department doesn’t tend to issue temporary permits, save for temporary permits for vendors tied to a special event like a street fair or park concert. In San Francisco, their health code has a provision for “Pop-ups and other non-traditional temporary food facilities” due to “the substantial growth in non-traditional temporary food facilities, including ‘pop-up’ restaurants that are open for short periods of time in undisclosed locations,” it allows permitted food facilities that temporarily host “pop-up” restaurants operated by food operators other than themselves to submit a “Pop-up Food Event” notification. But not in non- food permitted facilities. For us here in Rahway, one would need to check with local authorities about what types of temporary permits (like catering) one would need before opening.Joe- what are you looking to open? I hope is a coffeehouse/café…. We need one downtown!!

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