By Shay Castle | Daily Camera
A food truck park is inching closer to existence in Boulder after two years of planning and political wrangling.
The entrepreneurs behind Boulder Food Park are resubmitting plans today for a nearly 15,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor food truck staging area, bar and event space at 2775 Valmont Road. The struggle to establish their grand idea included multiple council meetings, a use review process and the passing of a city ordinance.
“We’ve done the political battle,” said BFP partner Hank Grant. “Now it’s just a construction project.”
That battle included convincing the city council to approve an exemption to the city’s ordinance banning food trucks from operating within 150 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Grant and company were successful, resulting in a new ordinance that allows the city manager to grant an exemption if all restaurants within range agree to allow food trucks nearby.
The restaurant working with BFP has since shuttered: Thai Shi House closed its doors in December, and a new eatery has yet to take its place.
Developer Stephen Tebo owns both the former Thai Shi property and the BFP lot, and has been supportive of the food truck project since the beginning, so it is likely that any restaurant tenant will be amenable to the trucks. Tebo was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Grant and BFP partner Justin Riley hope to have the establishment open by Memorial Day. Hiring for 10 available positions should begin soon, Riley said.
“We’ve been on paper for a long time, just a cool concept,” said Justin Riley. “We’re closer to reality now.”
An inside bar, stage and seating area will have 30 beers on tap and music on the weekends. The outdoor space, in addition to the food trucks, will have a seating area and yard games with a “beer garden vibe,” Grant said.
About 20 food trucks have also signed vendor agreements. They will work on a rotating schedule (yet to be determined) that will allow no more than four trucks on the property at any one time. That will likely include a change between lunch and dinner shifts.
Enthusiasm for the park is high among food truck entrepreneurs, according to Eric Holinger, owner/operator of Rollin’ Bones BBQ.
“It’s going to be a big draw for people,” Holinger said. “Hopefully it will create a more accepting attitude toward food truck culture in Boulder and make it easier for them to find space in town.”