Nov 12, 2015 - Food and Drink

Food Truck Friday has found its new home, in South End and Plaza Midwood

Food Truck Friday has found a new home in South End, and it’s less than two blocks away from the spot where it became an iconic event.

The food truck rally will open the new year at the intersection of South Tryon Street and Kingston Avenue, a county-owned piece of land that’s been designated to become a park in the future — Wilmore Centennial Park.

The plan is to shut down Kingston and let the food trucks park there, and for the hundreds of people expected to gather there to find a spot in the grassy lot.

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Photo via Historic South End

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Photo via Historic South End

There will also be a second location in Plaza Midwood at the Light Factory, and organizers are actively looking at spots to expand to other neighborhoods.

The decision, finalized Wednesday, ends the uncertainty that arose when we learned that a new development would put an end to the Food Truck Friday lot and the Common Market that lies next to it. That piece of land will be home to the headquarters of Dimensional Fund Advisors. 

The new location is about a three minute walk from that current home, next to Common Market at the corner of South Tryon Street and West Park Avenue.

Dave Trauner, Food Truck Friday’s organizer and the owner of Sticks and Cones truck, said the team that looked for a new location wanted to recreate as much of the essence of the old Food Truck Friday location as possible. They wanted to stay in the neighborhood, avoid asphalt and let people mingle and meet.

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Another bonus: Food Truck Friday isn’t specifically about beer, but there is a convenience store right across the street and people will continue to be allowed to bring in beverages.

About the Plaza Midwood location

The Plaza Midwood location at the Light Factory will also run each Friday night. It’s right off Central Avenue. That location is an asphalt lot, but will answer the demand that’s long been there for a food truck rally in that area.

It’s also right next to the new Harris Teeter, for beverage purposes. Dairy Queen is also nearby.

“It’s a great neighborhood, so to have something there will be a blessing,” Trauner said.

One last time

Trauner said the credit should go to Gaines Brown, the owner of the former Food Truck Friday lot. He essentially created the event from scratch four and a half years ago and was adamant that it continue after he sold the land for a new office development. “He led the charge,” Trauner said.

This Friday will be the last food truck event at the current location, four and a half years after Food Truck Friday began. In that time, it went from a crowd that couldn’t even fill the six tables on the lot to something that’s become a touchstone for Charlotte as a whole. Trauner hinted that the last event might have some special guests that would make it memorable.

“We never thought it would be this big. We never thought it would have the magnitude and acceptance it did,” Trauner said. “No one thought when we set out to do this, the impact it would have on Charlotte.”

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