Last week Trattoria 1910 opened in a bleak little alley a couple of blocks away from my university. The restaurant has been sold out every day since and yet it's closing in two weeks. Stranger yet? All the food is free. Turns out it's part of a publicity campaign to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Gallo Salame.
In New York and Los Angeles musicians promote their tours and albums by opening pop-up shops that are less about selling tour merchandise and more about generating buzz.
Toys ‘R' Us opened 91 temporary stores over the holidays - largely filling vacant retail space. In many cities you couldn't think "toys" without mentally adding "R Us."
The recession created empty retail space. Now landlords, traditionally tough cookies, are more willing to negotiate shorter leases.
Businesses are making creative use of this space with pop-up storefronts - sometimes to sell things and sometimes as a sort of interactive billboard.
Whatever the marketer's strategy - consumers love them. Pop-ups seem intimate and local at a time when consumers are looking for ways to feel more connected. And of course, "new" is always a little more exciting.
While the recession may have created available space and more accommodating landlords, it's the Internet that's given pop-ups their punch. Once upon a time the retail mantra was, "location, location, location." Businesses relied on location to create loyalty and reputation - especially restaurants.