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Search resumes for food truck park location in St. Louis

Food trucks usually stop at businesses and other locations throughout the St. Louis area. Many operators are hoping a more permanent location will help create more stable business.
Frankly Sausages | Facebook

The effort to establish a regular spot for many of St. Louis' food trucks is back in the search phase. Supporters are looking for another potential location after a deal announced last year involving property on south Vandeventer Avenue fell through. They have been meeting to examine options, with the goal of having a new spot selected by spring.

"We were really excited about the location and the area, but unfortunately, that location didn't pan out. So that's no longer the spot," Frankly Sausages co-owner Jamie Cawthon said when asked about the south Vandeventer property. "It's really just something that didn't work out." Calls to the development company that owns a building on that property have not been returned.

Several food truck operators and those behind a recently launched beer truck support the idea. And a permanent location should be good for everyone's bottom line.

"You have no idea whether your weekend's going to be 300 people or 12. So, building that consistency for our business is important," Cawthon said. "And I think also for the community to really be able to invest in the food trucks and experience them in more than just an event setting."

Organizers are trying to be creative to get the food truck park established. They are open to spots in the city of St. Louis and the county. They would consider working out of a couple different locations and Cawthon says the hours could be flexible.

"I've seen it done in other cities where, you know, they have places that close early in the day and they are able to do food truck parks at night because everything is mobile. So we're looking at all different kinds of locations. Anything with a big empty lot and room for parking is really all we need."

Food trucks lined the parking lot of the now vacant Crestwood Court, as thousands of residents came to share their memories and say goodbye ahead of its planned demolishing at the end of this year.
Credit Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio
Food trucks have been linked to community events throughout the region for a few years. That includes this 2016 "sendoff" for the former Crestwood Mall.

The new location search comes at a very busy time for Cawthon and her husband, Bill, who are guiding the project. They are putting the final touches on a brick and mortar location on Cherokee Street, which should open in mid-November. Their aim is to expand on some of the food that is sold on the Frankly Sausages truck.

But she insists the effort to establish a food truck park remains strong, despite the more complicated than anticipated process of pinning down a location.

"There's possibilities in the county and the city," she said. "I'd love to see something in the Clayton, Richmond Heights, Maplewood area I think would be fun. Obviously, we'd like to find something good in the city. So, we're open. We haven't found the right spot yet."

Follow Wayne on Twitter: @WayneRadio

Wayne is the morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.