Food Truck Zeitgeist: The Next Loop Lunch Court?
By Karl Klockars in Food on May 5, 2010 7:00PM
The rallying cry of "We want food trucks!" has gone up almost simultaneously around the city, starting when ChicagoFoodTrucks.com went live on March 28th. Since then, plenty of ink has been spilled about why we can't eat Korean tacos like LA does, what it'd take to get some legal falafel carts around town, and how great it would be to have guys like Bill Kim and Graham Elliot Bowles show up outside the Double Door or the Whistler at midnight.
Alas, vendors cannot live on after-hours drunks alone. Aside from pulling up to parking lots outside bars late at night, what else are food truck owners going to do with their time? What other options are out there? We already have various pickups pulling up to parks around the downtown area vending pre-cooked chow, and we've all heard of "roach coaches," correct? With a little work, some forethought and cooperation between the city and the culinary landscape, there's a place in the heart of the city that could very well be a bustling new destination for thousands of Loop lunchers, if they want it.
We went on a walking tour of the Chicago Riverwalk yesterday and saw nearly a half-mile of prime, scenic real estate that's virtually untouched, completely undervalued, and under construction. The kicker - there's already food carts down there. But when was the last time you thought of them? Even the city's website agrees: "It will be a place of recreation and reflection, a place where office workers and families can relax, and a great place to get a bite to eat.”
Et tu, Chicago?