Interstate Grocery will be the site of Helena's first pop-up restaurant event. Opening for one day only in the empty storefront in historic downtown Helena on May 10, two chefs will prepare and serve a 4-course meal featuring some of the culinary delights of the Arkansas Delta.

Interstate Grocery will be the site of Helena’s first pop-up restaurant event. Opening for one day only in the empty storefront in historic downtown Helena on May 10, two chefs will prepare and serve a 4-course meal featuring some of the culinary delights of the Arkansas Delta.

This pop-up event will take place in conjunction with 2014’s Arkansas Heritage Month Theme – “Come to the Table.”

Helena Advertising & Promotion Commission Director Julia Malinowski describes the pop-up event as a “temporary restaurant or store that typically goes up in a space that is not being used – like an empty storefront.”

“Pop-up restaurants, like food trucks, are an effective way for young professionals to gain exposure of their skills in the field of hospitality as they seek investors and attention pursuant to opening a restaurant or another culinary concept,” states Wikipedia. “Pop-up restaurants have been hailed as useful for younger chefs, allowing them to utilize underused kitchen facilities and ‘experiment without the risk of bankruptcy.’ By 2013, this restaurant style had gained steam and prevalence in larger cities thanks in part to crowd-funding efforts that offered the short-term capital needed to fund start-up costs.”

Shane Henderson, executive chef with Ben E. Keith and Jason Godwin, former chef for Dogtown Coffee and Cookery will be providing the meal at the Helena event. Chris Ferri will craft signature cocktails, including Four Roses bourbon, for this special occasion.

Henderson has served as executive chef of Aramak at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, RidgePointe Country Club in Jonesboro and Simply the Best Catering. He is probably best known for his partnership with Jody Hardin in opening Argenta Market in North Little Rock. Henderson has been executive chef with Ben E. Keith since 2010.

Godwin has worked for a variety of respected restaurant establishments during his career including executive chef at Simply the Best Catering and pastry sous chef at Ashley’s at the capitol. He designed, opened and managed Dogtown Coffee and Cookery in North Little Rock. He is currently the executive chef for Eurest at Acxiom.

“We’re using the pop-up format to help gain exposure for Helena as an area of opportunity for investors and chefs interested in opening a permanent restaurant,” commented Malinowski. “Folks outside the community see Helena as a risky investment. The pop-up structure allows interested chefs to test out our market.”

Malinowski stressed that the Advertising & Promotion Commission loves all of the communities’ local restaurants.

“This is not about replacing anyone’s business,” stated Malinowsky. “It’s about providing a greater variety of eating opportunities in the county. We know that a large part of our population currently drives across the river to Mississippi for their date nights, birthday dinners, etc. This is about keeping more of this money here.”

Tickets are $30 per person. All proceeds will benefit Main Street Helena and the historic downtown. To purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/interstate-grocery-tickets-10943601607.