Wednesday, July 17, 2013
“Funky” food park on Greenville Ave will have 3 bars, with one in a treehouse
A local ice cream company will be serving cones, and a flatbed trailer can be dragged in as a makeshift live music stage.
LOWER GREENVILLE The 15,000-square-foot gravel lot on Lower Greenville doesn’t look like much right now, but the site will soon be East Dallas’ long-awaited food truck park, Truck Yard. During a walkthrough Tuesday, founder Jason Boso explained the intriguing things to come, including a treehouse bar.
Truck Yard’s opening date has been pushed back to mid- to late-August.
The multi-level treehouse bar will have seating for approximately 14, reachable by a spiral staircase, said Boso, who is also owner of the Twisted Root burger company. To comply with city liquor laws, Boso recruited Victor Tangos Bar Manager and mixologist Emily Perkins, who will be concocting and bottling original cocktails to be sold up the tree. On Tuesday, I sampled her Cable Car cocktail, a 1996 beverage from San Francisco that combines Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, lemonade, and cane sugar.
“I want it to be this Swiss Family Robinson/Robinson Crusoe vibe,” said Boso of the treehouse. “All the drinks will be focused around rum.”
As for the other bars, Boso is refurbishing an old Airstream trailer that he acquired from Craigslist; it will become a bar stationed where the food trucks park. Another full bar will be located inside the permanent building, alongside the permanent Philly cheesesteak operation cleverly called Steak Me Home Tonight.
As we reported in June, Steak Me Home Tonight will anchor the food truck park. It is being built in a former auto parts shop, with indoor seating for 56 patrons. Boso is adding three garage doors to the building that will give it an indoor/outdoor charm, as well as a few televisions.
The facility will also serve as creation headquarters for the local ice cream company Carnival Barker. The company will be creating for both wholesale and retail, and will serve to Truck Yard patrons via an ice cream cart, Boso said.
A large patio flanks the Steak Me Home Tonight building, bringing the outdoor seating capacity up to 200 visitors. Boso and Brian Gibb, owner of The Public Trust art gallery, are designing the space to feel “funky” and “of Austin interest.” To do so, Boso is filling the space with salvaged metal signs from Western Warehouse and El Chico as well as piles of tires, some of which will be used as planters, and giant wooden spools for tables. He plans to incorporate rocking chairs and swings.
“It will be tacked up wood and metal everywhere,” Boso said.
Gibb will be heading artistic development of Truck Yard, recruiting local muralists to decorate the fences and drawing ideas from local breweries to set the vibe.
“I want all the art to feel like it belongs,” Gibb said, adding that he’ll probably let the artists’ imaginations run wild rather than pinpoint a specific theme.
Live music will be on hand occasionally at Truck Yard. Boso invested in a 1970s flatbed trailer that can be dragged into the lot, where he hopes musicians will add background music to the outdoor diner.
Truck Yard is purposefully not geared toward children, though the relaxing space beneath a canopy of trees is appropriate for the whole family. Boso hopes the food park will serve not only as a dining destination for the Lower Greenville neighborhood, but also as a dependable venue for the city’s food trucks.
“I’m not taking any revenue from the food trucks,” said Boso, whose goal is to attract a thirsty crowd for revenue. “The food trucks are too transient. They can’t create a brand so they are chasing catering dollars.”
“Plus, eating here will be better than in the CVS parking lot,” added Gibb.
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