By Annalisa Pardo | KRQE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A once empty lot in Northeast Albuquerque is getting a makeover, with plans to help women and Asian-owned businesses. Pacific Rim food truck park is coming to the corner of Louisiana and Santa Monica.
Judy Chiang, owner of nearby Chinese restaurant Rising Star, said she got the idea of the food truck park during the pandemic. “I have a restaurant. We’re very lucky. We have survived because we have a drive through window. So, we survived. But for the others, a lot of the small businesses shut down,” she said.
She also said she knows of many businesses that shut down and were Asian-owned. “Because the language barrier, so they couldn’t, without the help, they could not apply for the UI, for the grant from the government,” she said. “My family has had a restaurant business for 20 years, I want to give back a little bit more to community.”
Working with Grace Church, which sits next door to and owns the empty lot, they put in grass, shade sails, tables, and five food trucks –all Asian–and women-owned to start. They include Vietnamese food, Japanese food, and food from South America.
They plan to eventually have 10 food trucks, with Hawaiian BBQ and burger vendors in the works. Pacific Rim will also have a drive through coffee spot. There have been some delays, like trying to get connected to power with PNM.
“Six months since we start, the beginning to apply for it. That’s the most difficult part,” said Chiang. “As long as we have power connected, we’re going to set up camera, wifi, security, so we can have a better environment for people to dine, sit down dining too.”
They also hope to eventually hold farmers’ markets there. While furry friends aren’t allowed just yet, Chiang said it will be a place for family. “…encourage people, come here and use this as fun, family-friendly, community place to enjoy,” said Chiang.
She said this is also a chance to support small businesses in a big way. “We need more help from the local community instead of the government,” she said. “…just want to invite the community member to come and support this program…. so, we can help my vendors to have their dreams come true.”
The food truck park will have a soft opening Thursday, October 13, 2022. It will hold its grand opening on Sunday, October 30, 2022, and stay open six days a week. Chiang said part of the proceeds from the food trucks will go to Grace Church to help support mission trips.