Pop-up restaurants coming to Student Union

Impossible and Bodacious Burgers is one of the few pop-up restaurants to open up in UMKC’s Student Union. (Sodexo)

Thomas White

UMKC has coordinated a new series of eatery concepts to rotate throughout the school year inside the Student Union.

Temporary limited-menu restaurants, known as pop-up restaurants, have existed since the 2000s. Typical pop-up restaurants are a way for aspiring chefs to experiment with new dishes or concepts without the risk of business failure. Traditionally popular in Europe, the pop-up restaurant craze has now made its way to UMKC. 

The pop-up restaurant concepts at UMKC will be open for business in the space next to Chick-fil-a. A new dining option will emerge in the outlet every 45 to 60 days. 

“If a concept is wildly popular with students it may run a bit longer,” Student Union Director Jody Jeffries said. “If a concept clearly doesn’t catch on, it may run more briefly.” 

The first in the series to debut is Impossible and Bodacious Burgers. The menu features vegan and beef burgers on brioche buns with customizable options of cheese, toppings and sauces. For $8 a student gets a combination of a bespoke burger and curly fries or fruit cup.

“I think it’s cool to have some variety and that different types of food will be served,” UMKC chemistry major Anabelle Rodriguez said. “I mean, Chick-fil-a is good, but how many times can you have that?” 

Four different concepts are on deck for this academic year:

Impossible and Bodacious Burgers 

Now open 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. 


RAMEN will feature modern ramen bowls that are quite different from 25-cent Top Ramen packs. The trendy dish melds chewy noodles, broth, vegetables and protein. Ramen, with origins in Japanese street food, is known for being comforting and filling with a unique set of flavor combinations. RAMEN will serve build-your-own and signature ramen bowls. 


The HandCRAFTED concept will serve a number of premade specialty sandwiches along with pickled vegetables and side salads. Also appearing is an optional build-your-own element for a personalized sandwich. 

Noodle House

With a focus on Southeast Asian flavors, Noodle House will specialize in fully customizable curry noodle bowls. Students will get to choose their level of spice: red curry is hot, green curry is medium and yellow curry is mellow. Then there is a choice of fresh vegetables, protein, toppings and, of course, noodles. 

Those interested in pop-up restaurants throughout the area can find them regularly at Parlor KC and the Lenexa Public Market.  

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