We get inside the mind of a Pop Up Restaurant Owner

Serving up British cuisine with an international influence, pop-up restaurant Xiringuito (pronounced chi-rin-gito) http://xiringuito.co.uk/ is the brain child of Conor Sheehan and Chef Jackson Berg. We caught up with Conor to understand what was their inspiration and challenges of opening a pop-up restaurant.

How did you break into the restaurant industry?

My first restaurant job was as a Kitchen Porter at Puschka in Liverpool at the age of 14. This really cemented my interest in the industry and at 16, I left school for full-time employment. 

Where did you get the inspiration for Xiringuito?

A chiringuito (xiringuito in Catalan) is a provisional beach bar in Spain. They're always relaxed, boozy and the food tends to be really good but not too fussy. That's kind of what we think a restaurant should be like, so used that for the basis of Xiringuito. 

Why a pop-up?

We had wanted to find a proper bricks and mortar site in London but found the prices too extreme. Xiringuito is giving us the freedom to get out and do it for ourselves while having some fun. 

What are the challenges of a pop-up restaurant?

With Xiringuito, which involves moving city each season, after finding the right site (we need an already licensed space) building a reputation almost from scratch in each location is the biggest challenge. We built a reputation in Margate, Kent and then after the summer, upped sticks to Liverpool. The restaurant scene in Liverpool is really burgeoning so trying to build up trade on a time limit is a big challenge. 

Do the cities you pop-up in have an influence on the menu?

The place and the season naturally impact on the menu with seasonal availability and the local suppliers Jackson builds a relationship with. 

Where would be your dream location for Xiringuito?

A roof-top in London, a vineyard in Napa, on a rugged cliff top overlooking the sea in Cornwall, so many!

Your menu changes daily but do you have a favourite dish so far?

The curried soft shell crab burger is a big hitter as is the salt hake brandade with fried pickled onion rings. 

What does the future hold for Xiringuito?

A summer season in a TBC location! 

Xiringuito Restaurant 

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