New pop-up: Hank's Haute Dogs Downtown
Henry Adaniya and Jenny Cabrera at
the downtown Hank's pop-up
“This is a terrible restaurant space,” Henry “Hank” Adaniya says of his pop-up spot in the downtown Arcade Building. It doesn’t have a kitchen, isn’t visible from the street, and, he says, “in the downtown environment, there’s plenty of competition and things have to be fast.” So why do it, I ask Adaniya. “It’s impossible. And because anything that is a challenge, I like to do it.”
But for now, he’s figured it out. He makes Hank’s a destination by offering pre-paid lunch sets that you reserve online. He preps the food at Hank’s Haute Dogs on Coral Street, and since he’s pre-sold each lunch, he knows exactly how many to bring.
The lunches are a Hank’s Happy Meal of sorts: a main (usually a haute dog, but not always), a side, a drink for $9.95. The first week, it was bratwurst simmered in champagne, topped with fennel slaw, with a bag of fresh-fried chips and hibiscus lemonade. I spent 20 minutes in front of the shake bar—14 spices including togarashi, furikake, chicken bouillon, parmesan, and truffle oil—trying to figure out what to put on my chips (didn’t I just pay for this lunch so I wouldn’t have to make decisions?). The second week was a Chicago deep dish pizza, what ended up looking like a giant meat-cheese-tomato cupcake. The adventure is in the surprise: when you pay for your lunch online, you don’t know what you’re going to get.
For Adaniya, “the whole pop-up idea is very stimulating for the creative soul. You’re able to create something new and unbridled and you just do it on the impulse.”