Tallahassee, FL: Food Trucks For Lunch? What A Capital Idea!

Credit R.Benk / WFSU-FM Government officials unveiled the new food truck court sign.

By Ryan Benk | WFSU.org

Credit R.Benk / WFSU-FM Government officials unveiled the new food truck court sign.
Credit R.Benk / WFSU-FM
Government officials unveiled the new food truck court sign.

A long day of lawmaking can really work up an appetite and during the legislative session there’s little time and a limited choice for a good meal. But, food trucks are rolling in to the rescue.

The Johns Lot, named after a former Florida Governor, has been largely unoccupied since the Occupy Tallahassee protesters were evicted last year. Now the city is allowing food trucks to use the lot temporarily. Food Truck Association President Rebecca Kelly said the idea was a collaborative effort.

“After a lot of meetings and a lot of meeting of the minds and a ton of support, from not only the trucks you see behind me, but the other 12 members of the Tallahassee Food Truck Association, plus the support of the other food trucks in the area, we all collaborated and worked to put this project together,” Kelly mentioned.

The new food truck court is within walking distance of many state agencies and the Florida Capitol. And Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Ken Lawson pointed out that it makes the new location prime real-estate.

“What matters here is location, location, location. We’ve got the Capitol behind us, we’ve got session going on and we’ve got a bunch of hungry people,” Lawson said.

Lawson said the number of food trucks is growing in Florida. He says after the economic collapse of 2008 many restaurant entrepreneurs opted for the smaller, cheaper, more mobile alternative to traditional brick and mortar businesses. And State Representative Alan Williams, a Democrat from Tallahassee is looking to make Tallahassee, the state’s food truck capital.

“And I will tell you as I go around the country, especially in Washington D.C., you see that that has really taken off as a real capital for food trucks and now the state capital is going to be another capital for food trucks,” Williams said.

Williams thinks the food court will be a great economic success in Downtown Tallahassee.

“Just short and sweet: If you build it, they will come and I think that’s what we want to underscore and I’m glad that a lot of state workers will be able to come here,” Williams said.

The new food truck court will feature six trucks for lunch, seven days a week and will have food ranging from pizza, to Barbecue, to Mexican cuisine.