Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Cowtown Chow Down food park in Fort Worth to open in April
Owner Charlie Flores drew inspiration from an Austin food truck spot.
Cowtown is getting trendy, as students soon might be able to chow down on a variety of unique gourmet foods. Cowtown Chow Down is a food park opening in April at 1100 N. Main St., halfway between downtown Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Park owner Charlie Flores defined a food park as a designated piece of property that has a variety of gourmet food trucks. He said his property would provide space for 20 food trucks. Fourteen vendors are currently signed up for the food park, Flores said. The Butcher’s Son, Crazy Sisters, Dough Boys Pizza, and The Bacon Wagon are among the participating vendors, he said.
The triangle-shaped park offers open air dining under an outdoor canopy, a climate controlled dining area, live entertainment, and free Wi-Fi connection, according the Cowtown Chow Down’s official website.
The gourmet food trucks are owned independently, as well as by restaurant owners, said Flores. Flores said he believes many people choose to start food trucks in order to provide quality food at cheap price. The target group is between 20 and 30 years old — a demographic that fits TCU.
“I think the food park will provide a different approach to grabbing a bite to eat that some students haven’t seen before,” said Audrey Swanson, a sophomore journalism major. “I’m especially excited because I am a vegetarian, and I heard one of the vendors, Zombie’s Food Truck, has vegan and vegetarian options.”
The mobility of the food trucks is monitored through social media, Flores said. The Bacon Wagon, a vendor scheduled for the park, was voted best food truck in 2011 by the Dallas City Voter website and has more than 1,000 Twitter followers.
Flores said strict city codes create a premium for the growing demand for parking food trucks. According to Fort Worth’s website, food vendors are allowed to sell in one location for up to one hour. At Chow Down, however, trucks will be allowed to park for the duration of the festivities. The property will accommodate 50 parking spaces and a bike rack, Flores said.
Inspiration for the park came from Flores’ experience at a popular food truck spot on South Congress Avenue in Austin, he said. His hope is to emulate in Cowtown what he experienced in Austin.
Flores started his other business, Snoball Corral, 10 years ago on the corner of the proposed Chow Down property, he said. Snoball Corral was a trailer that served snow cones through a drive-thru, as well as provided outdoor seating to customers, Flores said. The trailer’s opening coincided with the opening of LaGrave Field in 2002. The property stayed open late to accommodate Fort Worth Cats fans, he said.
Cowtown Chow Down is scheduled to open April 2012.
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