Mall to hold food truck 'rallies'

DOWNEY - Stonewood Center, hoping to capitalize on the growing popularity of gourmet food trucks, will host 15 of the trucks starting in October."This isn't your typical roach coach that rolls up to a construction site," city planner David Blumenthal told planning commissioners Wednesday. "These trucks can draw up to 1,000 people a day." The food trucks, which can sell anything from macaroni and cheese to bacon-wrapped hot dogs - and everything in between - will be at the mall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 15, Oct. 29 and Nov. 12. The trucks will be located in the mall's east parking lot, near Sears Auto Center. Mall officials said they will not provide tables or chairs, but a "trash staff" will be emptying trash cans and picking up litter. Planning commissioners admitted they were initially hesitant to OK the food trucks, worrying they could take business away from traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants. "My initial thought was 'This is absurd.' We don't want trucks coming in and taking away business," said commissioner Michael Murray. "But then I did research on the Internet and these things could bring in 1,000 people." "Now that I understand it more I'm looking forward to it," said commissioner Louis Morales. "I'm interested to see how it's received in our city." If the food truck events are popular, mall representatives said they may bring them back next year, possibly with a live music component. "I think this is a unique opportunity here," said commissioner Robert Kiefer. "I think it's something that could be interesting and is definitely worth a try."

********** Published: September 22, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 23