Denton food truck owners will soon have a more central spot to set up shop in town.
A local business owner has bought and is setting up an unofficial “food truck park” along Austin Street where truck owners can rent out spots and sell their offerings to the public.
John Williams, owner of the Oak Street Draft House and East-Side Social Club, hopes to break ground and have the lot ready for use this month.
Several of Denton’s regular trucks already pull up along the area at night to sell to East-Side SC customers and have contacted Williams about a spot in the new park during lunch or dinner hours as well.
"Kind of create that scene, create that culture, let people gather up, and they can just order food from all sorts of trucks,” said Cuong Mai, owner of the Pickled Carrot Vietnamese food truck.
Williams said currently the City of Denton has not set up rules to establish a full-time food truck park where trucks can remain, so his will operate in an unofficial capacity and trucks will have to leave and clean up at night.
Truck owners said the city is still working out a lot of the details about how food trucks can and can’t operate in town; the industry just really started up in Denton in 2012.
"It's new,” said Gabriel Kirkpatrick, owner of the Lean Machine. “So anything that's new you're always going to have some hurdles and things in place just because you're figuring out, 'how do we make this work within the business community."
However the industry is undoubtedly making a mark already in the community. On any given day you’ll find them parked throughout town selling unique foods from gourmet waffles to new takes on low-calorie dishes.
Owners said the park will be a nice chance to finally work together more on their efforts and make themselves more visible in the community.
"Right now we do a lot of bars that don't serve food and that type of thing, so for families to come and sit at a table at a park I think that's really going to be great,” said Rachel Black, owner of the Waffle Wagon.
"Help give the trucks a little bit more of a static area where our consumers can know where we are,” said Kirkpatrick.
Right now the only large gatherings of the trucks in town are at festivals, nightly at bars like East-Side SC, and Wednesdays at the Downtown A-Train station where several set-up for lunch. Other than that most have a strong social media presence to help get word out about their set-up locations and unique menus.
Williams hopes the park will help continue the popularity of the industry in town and help it live up to its full potential.