Providence Bagel Loans Drive-Through to Pop-Up Restaurants at Night
On Thursday through Sunday evenings, Providence Bagel is hosting pop-up restaurants like Lost Boys Taco Shop and Basil and Bunny.
This article was updated on April 22, 2020.
When pop-up chefs no longer had a place to “pop-up” and serve meals inside restaurants, Craft Collective’s Jamie Buscher and Providence Bagel‘s Chris Wietecha teamed up to find a solution. Wietecha owns Providence Bagel with its very own full-service drive-through, and he originally wanted to loan it out to breweries to allow drive-up can sales, which turned out not to be a possibility.
The drive-through is very busy in the mornings and afternoons with Providence Bagel, but it’s not being used in the evenings when the business is closed. Wietecha decided to loan out the building to local pop-up chefs for weekend evenings.
“It dawned on me that so many people who do pop-ups suddenly have nowhere to go,” Wietecha says. “I then thought, ‘Well we have limited hours, so why not let someone use the drive-through when we aren’t open?”
It turned out to be a win-win for up-and-coming chefs and small food businesses. “A lot of young chefs don’t have their own restaurants, but they do popups at local breweries and events, all of which have been closed and cancelled,” says Buscher. “We came up with an idea to do a ‘Doomsday Drive-Thru.'”
The Doomsday Drive-Thru takes place Thursday through Sunday nights at Providence Bagel, and they will feature different chefs and pop-ups each week. Thursday and Friday will be a rotating business, and then Saturday and Sunday will host Lost Boys Taco Shop. This week, Providence Bagel is hosting vegan popup food trailer Basil and Bunny on Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., followed by Lost Boys Tacos on Saturday and Sunday nights.
At the same time, Chris Wietecha of Providence Bagel, Jim Nellis of RI Food Fights and Robin Dionne from RI VegFest have also teamed up to raise money for meals for frontline workers. They started a GoFundMe campaign called RI Feeds Our Heroes, and all of the funds raised will go toward feeding frontline workers for free while supporting local restaurants. According to RI Food Fights’ Instagram: “Providence Bagel and RI Food Fights are working together to raise money to help feed our RI Heroes. Nurses and hospital staff on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic are superheroes and we couldn’t be more grateful for their life-saving efforts. At the same time, our beloved local restaurants are scrambling to feed our communities while trying to keep their doors open.”
“One hundred percent of the funds collected through the campaign will be used to purchase gift cards from our team of restaurants and donated directly to nurses and staff at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, RI Hospital, Miriam Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital. Y’all are HEROES helping HEROES feed HEROES!”