Pop Kitchen and Bar, the new American café located inside Experience Music Project, began as a shared venture between Cameron Reed Concepts and Wolfgang Puck Catering. But alas, the partnership is no longer.
CRC pulled out in late August not long after the restaurant opened. Now the Wolfgang goliath is handling all operations, writes Rebecca Cameron via email. (Sheesh, sounds like a bumpy month: in mid-August executive chef Cameo McRoberts and sous Christopher Sprague hung up their aprons. Cameron and Susanna Holt, who had developed the menu, then jumped in.)
So what happened? Cameron directed questions to Pamela Brunson, VP of marketing and communications with Wolfgang Puck Catering.
"The design and menu concept we all worked on together," Brunson noted, but about four weeks after Pop opened Cameron Reed decided to dissolve the relationship. Brunson, though hesitant to offer an explanation on behalf of Cameron Reed, noted the company didn’t have experience working in a large-scale cultural institution (it operates Soups On! downtown and Chandy’s Natural Cafe at Microsoft Commons.) She also pointed to the constantly changing, seasonal menu. "Maybe they realized it wasn’t for them."
Brunson says Pop remains an independent concept, and Erin Cameron (no relation to the Cameron Reed people) is still overseeing the menu. She says to look out for a new happy hour menu soon.