New “Show Up” Dinner Event Comes to Detroit

By Amanda Lewan on April 3rd, 2016 / Comments

The style of popping up has been more than a trend for food and retail businesses these past few years. A pop-up involves using temporary spaces for temporary periods of time to showcase food or retail products. It often provides an easy testing ground for entrepreneurs, and an exciting way for potential customers to engage with your brand.

But one new company has changed the idea of “pop-up” dinners to “show-up” dinners focusing more on the experience.  Show:UP! is an exciting dinner party that “fuses immersive, improv theater with a real life dinner party.”  A local home in Detroit will be taken over with a chef and team creating a multi-course catered dinner. The surprise is that attendees have little background knowledge of the dinner and the other attendees, who are all told where to “show-up” the day of the event.

“It’s an immersive experience. It takes place in an actual house. We want you to feel the same way you would when you walk in to a house to meet with friends,” said Co-founder William Bryant Miles. “Just show up and let everything unfold around you.”

The idea came to William and friends who were lamenting over the experience of a theater show. They felt that others didn’t engage and connect as easily in that traditional setting.

“Myself and co-creator were talking about what we didn’t like about theater in New York. We didn’t like that you couldn’t bring a drink, you couldn’t get the opportunity to engage with others after experiencing the show,” he said. “We wanted to create a new experience with some interactive, theater elements.”

After seeing success for “show-up” events in New York City, where the team is located, they’ve now launched a national tour with Detroit next on the stop this month April 16th and April 17th. To date over 200 people have attended 19 of their “show-up” dinners in 10 different homes in Brooklyn, Harlem, and Washington D.C.

“We’re exited to be in Detroit. We came here a couple years ago and saw the city had more to offer,” he said. 

So what can you actually expect at the surprise dinner? William let us in a bit more on the details. The seating will be small, about twelve people who often come to network and meet new people. They are often food enthusiasts ranging in age and backgrounds, often 25-40. The dinner will serve local food and cocktail attire is recommended. There will be some theater like activities to make conversation fun and engaging.

“Event though we’re New York based, w’ere really excited to source local food and engage with the local Detroit community,” he said. “It’s sharing what we do and learning to help us understand the city in a different way.”

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About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.