What used to be an empty space between two buildings — with a tiny patch of dirt depressingly referred to as a dog park — has been turned, at least from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, into a food truck plaza populated by mobile food units and downtown office workers seeking new lunch options.
Larry Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Properties, the developer behind the plaza, says mobile food units seemed like a relatively easy yet less risky use for the space. The plaza was financed by 2006 bond funds. The city wanted retail activation in the space.
"We came in with sort of an alternative proposal. Mom or pop tenants, there's a chance it could go dark," Hamilton says, noting high start-up costs for brick-and-mortars. "The food truck has already made the investment."
It took several years for the food truck plaza to come to fruition. Hamilton erected canopies to offer shade, added seating and plans to include power hook-ups so the sound of generators doesn't overwhelm the plaza. Dallas Food Truck Pros will handle booking food trucks for the plaza, which Hamilton says may eventually be open some nights and weekends.
Recent food truck offerings in the plaza include Press Waffle Company and Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, and the intent is for trucks to rotate in and out to give a little variety — something downtown office workers say is sorely needed in the neighborhood.
Browder Street Food Truck Plaza, 222 Browder St.