Food Truck Trailer Park in Lower Greenville will Open in Early 2012

The mock-up reminds of us Torchy's Trailer Park in Austin.

by Sarah Blaskovich |

The mock-up reminds of us Torchy's Trailer Park in Austin.

A “food truck trailer park” planned for Lower Greenville will start construction late this summer.

The project – doubted by some when it was first announced in November 2010 – is nearly ready to break ground. Headed by Madison Partners, Jonathon Hetzel and his team have secured the appropriate city permits and are currently picking chefs to join the trailer park.

The concept of Arcadia Food Park, as it’s called, is to place six trailers on concrete pads in the location of the old Arcadia Theater, which was destroyed in a fire in 2006. Most of the trailers will look like retro silver Airstreams, though variations like Winnebagos will be allowed as long as they are “cool, old, funky trailers converted into take-out restaurants,” Hetzel said.

He wouldn’t yet name the six restaurateurs picked for the site, except to say that Jason Boso of Twisted Root and Cowboy Chow (which just closed its Deep Ellum location) will have a trailer. There will also be a beer/wine trailer, tentatively designed as a Winnebago with taps coming out of the side of the truck.

All chefs will be picked by the development team, and their trailers will have to be approved so they fit the theme. “They have to be doing something unique and cool,” Hetzel said. “I’m not going to put a trailer in there that sells run-of-the-mill burgers or run-of-the-mill hot dogs. Once the glitz wears off, we need to have something, an offering, that will keep people coming back.”

Chefs will pay to lease on the plot of land on which their trailer is parked. The trailers will be there semi-permanently: They will be bolted to the ground and will only be moved if a chef decides to pull out of the project. Even if that happens, Hetzel imagines that the trailer might be sold to the next chef as opposed to moved off the lot. The development company was able to secure building permits for the trailers since they are bolted down and considered to be “buildings” – which sped up the process since Dallas is still amending their food truck ordinance.

Arcadia Food Park will have parking for about 60 cars, a common bathroom building, a kids playground, dog park, and a neon sign art park. “We’re going to get a bunch of cool, old ’40s and ’50s signs; we found a neon sign boneyard,” Hetzel said. “We’re going to put them up on poles and scatter them throughout the place to give it a cool, funky, retro trailer park feel.”

There will be seating for 150 to 200 people in an outdoor space of 6,300 square feet.

So what makes this different than a recycled Austin food truck park? “For better or worse, we’ll be masterminding this better than they do in Austin,” Hetzel said. “And the people who say it’s not organically grown, it is! We had a site on Lower Greenville where the Arcadia Theater used to be, and it burned down … we came up with this cool project … we got together a bunch of local talent – not national talent – to put trailers in there and offer unique products.”

Construction will begin in August at the latest, Hetzel said. He hopes to open the doors – or, more fittingly, windows – by early 2012.