How a food truck scene evolves. First, trucks move around from place to place, in many cases because that's what city law requires.
Then they find a parking lot or vacant lot in which to stay parked all the time. If the landlord has more room to add in a few neighbors, then you get a "pod" or "cluster." Such collections of multiple food vendors are all over Austin, while the Boardwalk on Bulverde is the heart of San Antonio's scene.
Now it's the Metroplex's turn. The Fort Worth Food Park, the first food court of its kind in DFW, will open on December 2, four months after receiving a city variance, which will permit the trucks to stay immobile and allow the lot to provide power, water and disposal services to the eateries.
“You can see that the food truck culture in Austin, Portland, Los Angeles and similar cities is really starting to move towards a food-court-setting with a number of trucks working together,” said park owner Chris Kruger when he announced the new business. “So I wanted to bring that trend to Fort Worth.”
Kruger, who owns the land at 2509 Weisenberger St. near the West Seventh Street–Montgomery Ward entertainment district, has made room for six trucks. DFW.com's Robert Philpot* reported that the Good Karma Kitchen truck will be a fixture, while others will rotate in and out.
Other trailers that will be there opening night include YES! Taco, Nammi Truck, Lee’s Grilled Cheeses, Red Jett Sweets, and Jake’s Hamburgers. All the trucks involved can continue to be mobile when the park's not open—at first it will only be open Thursdays though Sundays.
Food truck enthusiasts welcome this new development. The Facebook account for Austin and Fort Worth chef Louis Lambert's recent cookbook, Big Ranch, Big City, commented on the park’s own Facebook page, "It’s great to see the trend take hold in Fort Worth," read the wall post.
However, Lambert himself recently told our own Layne Lynch, "I hate to even acknowledge food trucks. I think food trucks will run their course. The market is getting overcrowded, and I don’t think it can sustain itself." (He was presumably talking about Austin.)
Also sounding a less cheerful note was Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Eats Beat columnist Bud Kennedy, who said "I'm still a skeptic" in a tweet about the park. "This park has a bad location," Kennedy clarified to me in another tweet. "But I generally favor businesses that lease spaces and stay in a community, not those on wheels."
More from WFAA, which filed this report, centered around cupcake maker Red Jett Sweets.
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