Havasu, AZ: Mobile Eatery Owners Believe Havasu is Ready for More Food Trucks

Havasu, AZ: Mobile Eatery Owners Believe Havasu is Ready for More Food Trucks

The Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race brought an eclectic smorgasbord to Lake Havasu City’s hungry citizens on Saturday and Sunday, but the food truck caravan is moving on to Flagstaff.

By Kevin Baird  |  News-Herald

Lupita Garcia serves up a teriyaki chicken and rice bowl at the Pit Stop Teriyaki food truck on Monday afternoon.
Lupita Garcia serves up a teriyaki chicken and
rice bowl at the Pit Stop Teriyaki food truck on
Monday afternoon.

The Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race brought an eclectic smorgasbord to Lake Havasu City’s hungry citizens on Saturday and Sunday, but the food truck caravan is moving on to Flagstaff.

So what of the Havasu food-truck scene?

Luis Ramirez, proprietor of the Kokomo food truck, said he thinks Havasu is “absolutely” ripe for food trucks.

“Havasu—it’s kind of virgin. There’s really no food carts,” Ramirez said. “I think people dig it. I come from L.A. and there’s thousands of them on the road. You can get anything you want from them. Food trucks bring culture. What I cook for Kokomo’s truck, that’s my family recipe. That’s been handed down from my grandmother. My mom and dad had a catering truck when I was growing up.”

Connie Choi’s Pit Stop Teriyaki, which is located in the parking lot of London Bridge Chevron, may be an indicator that Ramirez is right about the food-truck market in Havasu. In the three weeks it has been in business, Choi said Pit Stop Teriyaki has found success.

“Teriyaki is our favorite,” Choi said. “There’s not many places to get teriyaki around here, and I have a lot of repeat customers. I think I’m doubling sales every week. We have a lot of walking tourists who smell the food and come over.”

Meanwhile, the city’s Community Services Director, Greg Froslie and other city officials are working to develop regulations for mobile food vendors.

“The regulations are really there to promote safe and fair business on private property or on a public right of way,” Froslie said.

Froslie has been looking at food-truck friendly areas for these mobile restaurants to do business. Froslie said the area around Querio Drive and McCulloch Boulevard as well as Rotary Park could make for great food-truck areas.

However, the issue with Rotary Park is that city ordinance prohibits commercial business at city parks. Along with mobile-food-truck regulations to be introduced to City Council members at the May 26 meeting, Froslie will have an amendment to the ordinance to allow food trucks to operate at Rotary Park.

He said the public will have a chance to comment at this meeting, and City Council likely would vote whether or not to amend the ordinance and adopt regulations at the following meeting on June 9.

Navy recruiter and food-truck enthusiast Brian Stankowitz said he would like to see food trucks in the downtown-McCulloch area—with the car shows and other happenings—he said it would be a perfect fit.

“I think there should be more food trucks in Havasu. Everybody loves food trucks,” Stankowitz said.

Looking to the future, Ramirez is hoping for the best in regards to the city council’s actions on food-truck regulations. Currently his mobile food truck spends most of the time at the Kokomo bar or at special events.

“Hopefully these new regulations get passed and we get turned loose. You’d definitely see that Kokomo truck out on the street. We need to let the people decide what they want to eat,” Ramirez said.

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