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New restaurant pops up in Northbrook Court

Ben Jutzi, Executive Copy Editor

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Cupcakes from Ms. Tittle’s Cupcakes, an early occupant of FOMO, are shown behind a glass display in the restaurant. FOMO provides a space for restaurants to try operating an establishment for a short period of time. Photo by Richard Chu

The day begins, and Denita Tittle, owner and head baker of Ms. Tittle’s Cupcakes, wheels in cases of her cupcake creations. But by the end of the day, it was as if she was never there.

“Everything that I brought in, I take with me,” Tittle said.

According to Jeremy Baras, director of real estate development for the real estate firm that owns and operates Northbrook Court, FOMO, a new restaurant in Northbrook Court, plans to continue featuring pop-up restaurants consisting of local restaurants, chefs, food trucks and non-local established restaurants that rotate every day or few days. The dates and times for pop-ups at FOMO can be found online on the Northbrook Court website.

Baras said aspiring chefs are also invited to participate in FOMO, and would likely be able to open a pop-up for a day or portion of a day. There is no formal vetting process for pop-ups, but Baras encourages these chefs to reach out to him directly for more information.

Baras, who created and pitched FOMO, said it is important to allow the pop-ups to have fun and incorporate their own branding and menu without any restrictions from FOMO.

“The way we position it [for] each [pop-up] is to treat it like your own restaurant,” said Baras. “Once we give you the keys, it’s yours.”

According to Baras, transitioning between the different restaurants at FOMO is largely the responsibility of each pop-up.

“Once they are done with service, they will pack up as if they never existed,” he said.

Baras said the name “FOMO,” which stands for “fear of missing out,”was chosen to send the message that the new restaurant has opportunities that are “here today and gone tomorrow.” He hopes the community will enjoy the concept.

“Short term, it’s really just trying to bring something new to the center that hasn’t been done before,” Baras said.

Junior Eva Farber said she likes the idea of a new eatery every few days.

“It’s different each time, so it doesn’t get boring,” said Farber. “You can try new foods if you’re interested in that, and it’s a fun way to spend time.”

Baras said he and a team of people working at the mall ensure everything at FOMO goes smoothly, but service and staffing are left in the hands of the pop-up’s manager. He said there is no set price range for the different pop-ups, but an average meal would likely cost between $12 and $20.

Tittle said she started a food truck business in 2013 for her cupcakes but has recently tried to focus more on catering and events. When she received an e-mail from Baras regarding her interest in opening a pop-up at FOMO, she saw it as an opportunity to continue transitioning away from her food truck.

“This could open up some new doors,” Tittle said.

Baras said he hopes companies that open pop-ups at FOMO will establish long-term restaurants at Northbrook Court because of their positive experience.

Barassaid he considers the opening a success but has to continue to look forward in Northbrook Court’s development.

“It was a little surreal,” said Baras. “It was a moment where I had to pinch myself to make sure that it was actually happening. But it was also exciting and invigorating, and it made me realize that this is day one of a journey.”

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New restaurant pops up in Northbrook Court