Traverse City, MI: Senior center seeks food truck

Record-Eagle/Tessa Lighty

By Brian McGillivary  |

Record-Eagle/Tessa Lighty
Record-Eagle/Tessa Lighty

TRAVERSE CITY — Area seniors hope to enjoy a sample of the mobile epicurean experiences available downtown by inviting a food truck to the Traverse City Senior Center parking lot.

Senior Center officials cooked up the idea last year during their annual car show. They wanted to provide food and thought a food truck would be a great idea. But the Senior Center sits on city parkland and was left off the list of approved public locations where food vendors can set up shop.

Commissioners are expected to rectify the oversight when they meet today at 7 p.m. in the Governmental Center.

“They are already downtown and sometimes we have a large audience out here and we thought it would be cool to have a food truck, said Lori Wells, deputy director of the Senior Center Network. “Because then we will be hip and trendy, and that’s what we like.”

Wells said she doubts any food vendor will make the senior center a regular stop. But center officials would like to invite one there for special events such as their car show or flea market. Plus, a couple of days a week the tennis courts and shuffle board courts are full and the adjacent park attracts numerous visitors.

A vendor also could draw from beach goers and students at the adjacent Northwestern Michigan College Great Lakes campus.

Because the parking lot itself is relatively small city officials are recommending just one food truck be allowed at any one time.

City Commissioner Jeanine Easterday called it a “cute idea” and said she sees no problem if that is what the seniors want.

“I think we have seen good use and good behaviors from the food trucks and a moderate expansion of the allowed area is perfectly reasonable,” Easterday said.

Wells said commission approval would be “awesome.”