Pop-Up Dining with Westfield: La Cocina’s El Mercado

San Francisco’s La Cocina, the philanthropic small-business innovator that’s been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover, recently took up residence in Westfield San Francisco Centre with their holiday cafe and market, El Mercado. Featuring local pastries, coffee and gourmet gifts, the Pop Up occupied the former La Boulange space during their 3-month stay.


Quickly transforming into a vibrant marketplace and eatery, El Mercado expanded upon La Cocina’s mission to “cultivate low income food operators”. With rotating guest chefs, El Mercado provided eager entrepreneurs a space to build their culinary dreams while delighting the tastes of hungry holiday shoppers.

This Pop-Up dining experience is reflective of a larger trend taking place in the food and beverage industry, where a desire for new experiences make short-term restaurants an obvious choice for chefs and owners. Whether it’s an unexpected location, a personal interaction with the chef, or a unique menu or theme, these events cater to the “Experiential Diner”—who craves not just an amazing meal, but a new and exciting dining experience.


Additionally, these short-term eating experiences capture the attention of diners while providing the restaurant with a ‘buzzworthy’ moment, resulting in an uplift in social dialogue. With experiential diners often skewing towards the millennial set, they are more likely to share their experience on social media, encouraging others to take part.


Pop-up dining also creates a more intimate eating experience, allowing chefs and restaurateurs to create a communal atmosphere, strengthening their brand affinity and loyalty- two wins that every retailer is looking for.

Learn more about Westfield Mall Retail’s Pop-Up Dining and other short-term leasing options and connect with your leasing manager today. With flexible lease terms and 34 centers nationwide, Westfield has a space to meet your retail needs.


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