The NYC Burger Pop-Up That Let You To Barter For Your Meal

If you've never been to a pop-up restaurant, you're in for a real (temporary) treat. Such restaurants "pop up" for a limited time in a certain city, show off their culinary geniuses on platters, then disappear. But what's the point of opening up a "temporary" restaurant anyway?

As Webstaurant Store puts it, chefs utilize the "pop-up" aspect to try out new menu items, raise money for charity, or showcase fancy dishes for those on a budget. Such pop-up restaurants also tend to utilize social media to spread the word about their prix fixe menus and limited-time offerings.

The range of options is wide at such pop-up restaurants. Thrillist mentions that vegan fare, Guatemalan cuisine, and a diverse ensemble of food vendors (known as Smorgasburg in Los Angeles) are just a few of many pop-up trends that foodies gravitate towards. Burger joints are certainly commonplace among some of these food giants, so much so that it's probably not even worth talking about any new fish in this sea. That is, unless we're talking about an NYC burger pop-up that let people barter for their burgers.

No money required

Bartering entails an exchange of goods without a scrap of money, and NYC pop-up Shy's Burgers decided to get involved in the business of bartering. Relabeling their burger joint "Shy's Bazaar," the owners advised everyone to leave their wallet at home and show up with random stuff. Throughout the day, they accepted baseball cards, old magazines, and a dusty ceramic cheeseburger. Whatever customers were willing to give up, the appraisers inspected and traded a certain number of burgers in return, as told by Grub Street.

If you don't have any cool knick-knacks lying around, you're in luck. Shy's typically accepts cash. The bazaar seems to have been a spontaneous event, and it's unclear if the owners will return to bartering in the future. The website clearly states, "No Hours, No Address, No Number." So hungry fans must turn to Instagram to see where the burger joint will pop up next.

The menu varies, but Grub Street notes that it typically consists of two burgers. The No. 1 is their take on the In-N-Out burgers in California, while their No. 2 is a version of McDonald's burgers. Additional offerings include a wedge salad, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a spicy burger with Trinidad scorpion mayo and Nashville-style cayenne oil.

Co-owner Shyan Zakeri told Grub Street that he doesn't see Shy's as a typical pop-up. "We just have a line, there's no bouncer, and anyone can come — I see it more as an open-invite house party."