Pop-up restaurant company FOODWORKS to bring local cuisine to Norris



FOODWORKS workers at work. The “pop-up restaurant incubator” will be coming to Norris University Center in June.

Gabby Birenbaum, Campus Editor

Chicago-based hospitality company FOODWORKS, a “pop-up restaurant incubator,” will open a location in Norris University Center in June, Compass Group North America, Northwestern’s food service provider, announced Tuesday.

FOODWORKS partners with local restaurants to create pop-up food stations, specifically pursuing relationships with women- and minority-owned business. Through a partnership with Compass, FOODWORKS has already begun offering pop-up lunch three times a week on campus, offering local food in the Technological Institute on Tuesdays and Thursdays and in the Kellogg Global Hub on Wednesdays since April.

FOODWORKS has partnered with local restaurants to serve food on a rotating basis, including Evanston’s Olive Mediterranean Grill, Wicker Park’s Flash Taco, South Side food truck Cajun Connoisseur, The Loop’s Lime Leaf Thai, barbecue chain Sweet Baby Ray’s and Lincoln Park kati roll restaurant Hakka Bakka.

“We bring the flavors of different neighborhoods into one space,” Jim Kallas, FOODWORKS president, said in a news release. “We’re excited to help integrate universities into their local food communities and provide students with culinary options that aren’t traditionally represented on university campuses. Our goal is not only to make lunch more interesting for our guests, but to help local restaurants grow and succeed in the process.”

Compass said the expansion reflects its commitment to sustainable support of the local community Another FOODWORKS location is planned for the Chicago campus at a later time.

Patricia Telles-Irvin, NU’s vice president for student affairs, said the partnership will allow for connections to be built between Northwestern’s student body and the surrounding community, which encompasses a diverse set of cuisines.

“We really wanted to emphasize local cuisine to help students feel they are part of the larger community,” Telles-Irvin said in the release. “We’re excited for FOODWORKS to bring diverse dining options to the Norris Center and expand on students’ current choices.”

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