What Happens When-Pop up Restaurant NYC

what happens when

Wow wee, Dodo is liking the new concept restaurant What Happens When.., which has recently opened in downtown Manhattan and is an accumulation of art, food, interiors and sound and is a collaboration with New York design consultancy The Metrics and Michelin star chef John Fraser of Dovetail restaurant.  It was the thought of designing a restaurant on a shoestring budget combined with the act of sharing food that the project came into being.

What Happens when detailwhat happens when front elevationwhat happens when exterior


what happens when exterior

‘We want to define what a restaurant can be – not only a place to feed yourself but emotionally as well, said Frasier, we want people to transition from being a guest to interacting with the space’, said Fraser.

 It is situated in reclaimed retail space and will undergo a transformation or movement every 30 days and will be themed according to the general public. The restaurant will feature Michelin star chefs and the first phase is based on a “Snowy Manhattan” the theme being reflection and the interior is designed with this in mind. The project is funded by Kickstart, which is a creative crowd funding initiative where the projects are posted online and the designers ask for a contribution before the project can begin, and it is here where you suggest the theme for the next restaurant. Dodo loves the way they have used an abandoned space and have sourced used furniture and gives the interior a whole new lease of life which regenerates itself every 30 days and will disappear gain after nine months. We so have project envy!

 What Happens When wrote the following…

 ‘What Happens When is a temporary restaurant installation that transforms every 30 days. It will live for 9 months in a reclaimed space in New York City and will change focus every month in order to explore what it means to feed people within the traditional constructs of dining, as well as creativity.


One abandoned restaurant
One Chef
Two Designers
One Composer
One Photographer


Here’s what we’ll make every month:

ONE COLLECTION A MONTH = Menu + Space Design + Soundscape + Photographs

Every month we will work collaboratively around a specific theme (see below) to transform both the space and the menu into a new dining experience. We’re calling each of these themes “Movements”. It’s a new way of interpreting the seasons that goes beyond just the food. Our Movements will touch on all 5 senses and create experiences that not only support but celebrate the menu.

ONE THEME A MONTH: Inspired by you

We’ve chosen to use Kickstarter as a means of supporting our project because we feel it parallels our own collaborative spirit. To further celebrate this ethos, we’re asking that with every pledge (regardless of dollar amount) you send in a theme suggestion for one Movement of the restaurant that will take place between April and September 2011.

It can be anything–from a short story you wrote to a song you sang last week–but it should be based off of a meaningful personal food memory.

For example, your favorite meal could have taken place in your grandmothers kitchen. It might have been in Fall, with meatloaf and mashed potatoes. With the sound of leaves crackling outside. And a teapot boiling. It might have been the only time she told you about her dream of being a piano player.


Whatever it may be, write down all the details and send it to us at ideas(at)whathappenswhennyc.com. Then as a group, we’ll then select a new theme every month and design an inspirational experience around it.

Our goal with this is not only to get us thinking outside of our own kitchen, but also to create an archive of collective food memories that speak to more than just us. All suggestions will exist online after the funding goal is reached and be anonymous.

Please note: this is not a requirement, merely a suggestion. You may pledge without sending a theme.

Check them out on kickstarter.com to see a host of potential creative projects. Look up What Happens When on the following link www.whathappenswhennyc.com.