New England ‘fish shack’ pops up in New Canaan
Published 4:22 pm, Monday, September 21, 2015
In the waning hours of summer, a pop-up seafood “shack” eatery has surfaced in New Canaan, running nearly a week on Main Street and featuring lobster, chowder, fried clams and other fare.
The owners of Boulevard 18 Bistro & Wine Bar tried an experimental six-day makeover of their restaurant under the banner of Dave & Luciano’s Fish Camp. The seafood menu is online at www.boulevard18.com and will be available through Saturday with the regular Boulevard 18 menu back on tables the next day.
Boulevard 18 is run by David Raymer, Luciano Ramirez, Henry Rosenbaum and Steven Semaya, who also own Strada 18 in South Norwalk. Raymer said the idea spawned from pop-up restaurants in New York City and elsewhere. Initially, he mulled establishing a new restaurant that would flip its identity every four months, featuring guest chefs as a way to tap into increased appetite among diners for new venues, before deciding to try a one-week concept as an experiment.
“Pop-ups — in the city and actually in a lot of major urban areas — have become very popular,” Raymer said. “Everyone wants to go to ‘the new place.’”
Raymer initially was considering a barbecue pop-up before talking with people about the closure of Mansion Clam House in Westport, and cottoning to the idea of a New England clam shack-style concept.
Stamford has a few examples of pop-up establishments. Before Paloma opened in 2014 in Stamford’s Harbor Point district, entrepreneurs ran an outdoor beer garden that attracted a loyal following during its six-month run. In 2011, an entrepreneur named Dominick Caiati envisioned a series of pop-ups as a way to build momentum for a culinary institute in Stamford. And this year, Three60 Events has been running a series of one-day “food rave” gatherings, where people can sample different varieties of food pegged to a common theme.
“It’s simply for fun,” Raymer said. “Hopefully if it works well we are going to do other pop-ups. … I have some chef friends in the city who would like to come out and run the place for a week.”
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-964-2236; www.twitter.com/casoulman