EVERETT — Looking for a quick bite? Try this up-and-coming parking lot on the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Madison Street in Everett.
A new food truck lot opened in Everett across the street from the Pinehurst-Beverly Park Fire Station at 6731 Beverly Boulevard.
The Beverly Food Truck Park, as it’s been dubbed, offers a rotating menu of two to four food trucks. Vendors will dish up their respective fare, Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Here’s what’s unique — the property, a large gravel lot, is owned by the city of Everett.
This is the city’s first effort to establish a food truck park.
“We are treating it as a trial,” said Dan Eernissee, the city of Everett’s economic development director.
“I don’t know of any other cities with lots like this,” Eernissee said. “Most food truck courts that I know of are on private property.”
The city teamed up with the Washington Food Truck Association to open the food truck park.
There’s no outdoor seating, but there’s room to pull in and park the car
“We’re starting with one or two trucks to test the location,” said Lori Johnson, executive director of the Washington Food Truck Association, a nonprofit industry group.
“We want to make sure it works for the vendors,” Johnson said. The association will manage the lot and book the vendors.
If it proves to be popular, “We will rotate as many trucks through there as possible,” Johnson said.
With more people working from home, the need for a food truck court located in a residential area took hold, Eernissee said.
A vacant, city-owned lot across the street from Fire Station No. 5 came to mind.
“We didn’t want to compete with downtown Everett restaurants or other eateries,” Johnson said. “This is about providing a quick bite.”
Participating food trucks pay a daily use fee, about 4% of sales, to the food truck association. The city receives a portion of that, Johnson said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how, when and where we eat out, restaurant and food truck owners say.
Before the pandemic, food trucks in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties largely catered to the lunch crowd, Johnson said.
Office parks and corporate campuses were favorite mid-day set-up sites.
Since March, Stay-At-Home orders and work-from-home trends have emptied offices and business parks.
Now, late afternoon and evening takeout is the thing.
Working-from-home types can’t always escape from their desk for lunch — or they’re juggling work and school-age kids in front of a computer during the day.
As a result, dinner time has become the new lunch-hour, Johnson said.
The Beverly Food Truck Park could add lunch service, if it proves to be a culinary hotspot.
“If there’s a demand for it, we’ll add it,” Johnson said.
Ordering takeout meals, whether from restaurants, bars or food trucks, is a popular meal option, according to a new poll by Move.org, a moving industry group.
The poll found that 33% of respondents ordered takeout three to five times per month; another 25% reported ordering takeout two to four times a month.
Several trucks have booked space at the Everett lot, including Crave by Suite J, which serves Asian Fusion dishes, and Black Sea, which offers European-style comfort food such as lamb kebabs, schnitzel and pork sausages.
Black Sea is a new food truck venture, said Ana Bujor who runs the mobile eatery with her husband and father.
“We’re Romanians from the Black Sea area,” she said of the name. “Being from Lynnwood, we wanted to be part of this,” Bujor said of the Everett lot.
“The truck is a dream come true for my father,” Bujor said. “He’s wanted to become a food truck owner since he worked at a food cart in New York City.”
Vendors at the Beverly Food Truck Park will participate in the Mobile Meal Alliance program that distributes meal vouchers, which can be used at food trucks, to needy families.
The program is a partnership between the food truck association and Nourishing Networks, said Johnson with the food truck association.
“Food trucks are well-suited to these times,” Johnson said. “Customers don’t need to enter a building or a confined space, and customers can opt to order their food online.”
For more information about the Beverly Food Truck Park go to Everett Food Trucks on Facebook or StreetFoodFinder at bit.ly/2G8Lchk
Janice Podsada; email@example.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods