By Blair Anthony Robertson | The Modesto Bee
Farm-to-fork? How about truck-to-table?
Andrew Blaskovich, the food truck impresario behind Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, has announced plans to open a full-service restaurant at McClellan Park (formerly McClellan Air Force Base).
Blaskovich runs the kitchen at Republic, a popular bar on 15th Street. He has another brick-and- mortar eatery in the works – a cafe in Folsom.
Both the McClellan and Folsom restaurants are to open in June, Blaskovich said.
Located at 5504 Dudley Ave., the McClellan restaurant will inhabit up to 5,000 square feet and will feature a large patio.
Blaskovich said he plans to have a beer and wine license.
The McClellan restaurant will begin serving lunch only, he said, but could expand its hours if demand warrants.
While some might consider Mc-Clellan off the beaten path, Blaskovich said 15,000 people work on the sprawling property, which was converted to mostly nonmilitary use after the base closed in 2001. (The U.S. Coast Guard continues to use the airport there).
Unlike the Republic, which is a partnership, these two brick-and- mortar eateries will be run solely by Blaskovich, who’s set to launch a second food truck with a state-of-the-art, $80,000 kitchen and also runs a catering business.
Blaskovich cashed out his 401(k) from his previous corporate job to purchase his first food truck, which he rolled out two years ago. Since then, he has built a large following with a variety of creative grilled sandwiches that combine ingredients such as pulled pork and mac ‘n’ cheese, or Korean braised beef and Sriracha-wasabi aioli.
Some days, he said, he is triple-booked for catering jobs. The McClellan restaurant, which has a large walk-in refrigerator, will serve as a staging area for the trucks and catering businesses. Parking the trucks on site, he said, will save $1,100 a month.
The Folsom cafe, in an office complex, will serve mostly employees who work on the property.
“In terms of growth, when all of the entities are running on full steam, we’re going to have 50 to 60 employees,” Blaskovich said. “I’d eventually like to have 100 employees.”
Blaskovich, who turns 40 this month, will mark the two-year anniversary of his food truck at a Second Saturday event outside Spanish Fly Hair Garage on J Street near 17th Street on May 11.