Lonely Planet Writer

10 pop-ups from 2017 that captured our imagination

Pop-ups can often be a creative way of trying new ideas, cuisine, drinks and experiences. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get there in time for a very popular place. There is hope though; some pop-ups that get booked out with rave reviews can be transformed into permanent fixtures.

With that in mind, here are ten of our favourites we covered this year that we’d like to see again in 2018.

1. Gin & tonic ice-cream bar

The Hoxton Hotel in London had a pop-up gin and tonic ice cream bar. Image: Hoxton Hotel

Never again would you have to choose between a ice-cream and a gin and tonic to cool you down on those sweltering summer days. While it is possible to get gin and tonic ice-cream elsewhere – or even make it yourself – the idea of having a dedicated bar is pure decadence.

2. Warner Bros pop-up

The Get Animated Invasion pop-up store opened in New York. Image: Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Everybody’s favourite childhood cartoons come to life with a series of immersive experiences that will have you exploring Bugs Bunny’s forest or the town of Bedrock. As well as tasting themed sugary snacks, there’s also a huge amount of Warner Bros swag to bring home as a souvenir, if those colourful Instagram pictures aren’t quite enough.

3. Peanut butter fondue bar

Dip a delicious treat into a peanut butter fondue at a London pop-up. Image by Whole Earth

Can you ever really get enough peanut butter? We think not, and that’s why this peanut butter fondue pop-up proved so popular. As much savoury or sweet peanut butter as you want, combined with healthy snacks for a bargain price; sounds like a winner to us.

4. Star Wars bar

The Galaxy cocktail is a signature with silver sugar. Image by The Dark Side

If you’ve always found yourself rooting for the Siths instead of the Jedis, this will soon be your favourite watering hole. Be entertained by intergalactic burlesque shows and alien speed dating, all while sipping incredibly intricate and original cocktails.

5. The Color Factory

Dive into this giant yellow ball pit at Union Square
The ball pit at San Francisco’s Color Factory. Image by: Color Factory

In an effort to get San Francisco creative types off the internet and into real-world experiences, this Color Factory aims to be an oasis of delight and joy. Dive into a huge pit filled with more than 207,000 yellow balls, get a temporary tattoo or draw on the walls with huge markers.

6. Poitín speakeasy

Dublin’s poitin pop-up. Image by Bán Poitín

Ireland’s poitín – traditional homemade alcohol – has been coming back into fashion recently and what better place to taste a bit of that notorious, formerly illegal tipple, than a basement speakeasy?

7. Run For Your Bun

After indulging in all the drinks and food offerings at other pop-ups, this is the one you’ll need to make your way to. After completing a six minute high-intensity interval workout, diners were rewarded with a healthy, complimentary lunch. Seems like a win-win situation.

8. Game of Thrones bar

The Weirwood bar at the DC pop-up. Image by Farrah Skeiky

With fans potentially waiting until 2019 for the new season (and who knows how long for the next book), what better way to pass the time than making a Game of Thrones bar your new local? The gorgeously-designed rooms make the perfect setting to discuss your theories on the upcoming storylines.

9. Nap pods

Get your own private space in the heart of London where you can nap, meditate or even shower. The service advertises itself as being a way to make money from under-used spaces, so this may well be a service you see more and more of in the future.

10. Happy Place

Design consultant, Leslie Schneider, capturing her happy at HAPPY PLACE in Downtown Los Angeles. Image by Faculty Productions

2017 was a bit rough for many people but no matter what the future holds, don’t we all deserve a Happy Place? This gorgeous LA exhibition is all about good vibes and positivity, wrapped up in a bright, well-designed pop-up.