Updated May 10, 2012
Today’s topic: the relationship between trucks and restaurants both here and throughout the country. I’m not going to get all preachy. I’m just going to point out some facts that I believe emphasize that the food service industry is all related. It should be one, big, happy family versus some dysfunctional family where the siblings are always arguing.
Our fight for food trucks is not a lonely one. I’ve been keeping tabs on the nation and the same arguments are found across the country: Chicago, Washington D.C., Miami, Dallas, Denver, Charlottesville, Minneapolis, Asheville, and even York, Pennsylvania.
At the same time, there are plenty of examples of restaurants that have opened trucks and trucks that have opened restaurants. The two are closely related. They are both businesses that serve people food. One just happens to be smaller and on wheels. Often the same food industry people move back and forth between the two. For there to be some sort of battle line drawn, to me, is absolutely ridiculous. As I’ve explained in my article Sacramento Needs to Embrace Street Food, there is no reason for a battle to even exist.
So without further commentary, here is a list of restaurant/truck/job relationships across the country.
- The Chando’s truck was bought and outfitted after the success of Chando’s Taqueria on Arden Way.
- Mama Kim’s On the Go truck was bought and outfitted after her success running a catering business and the restaurant at Lions Gate Hotel. She has since opened another restaurant location on Del Paso Blvd. as of April 2012.
- Miniburger (now Krushburger) owner Davin had worked for many years as a corporate chef for Guy Fieri’s restaurant group. KB has now added a brand new truck and is opening a restaurant summer 2012.
- Drewski's opened in a brick and mortar in February 2012 when they took over the kitchens of The Republic.
- Heavenly Dogs started as a brick and mortar and closed that to open a truck instead.
Around the Country
- The famous Spencer on the Go truck came after the success of the Chez Spencer restaurant.
- The Curry Up Now truck has just recently opened their restaurant in San Mateo.
- The An Family Restaurants consists of six restaurants and their truck, An the Go.
- Sam's Chowderhouse was first and then spawned Sam's Chowdermobile.
- Komodo Food truck now has a restaurant in Kosher Corridor area.
- Border Grill, co-owned by Top Chef Masters contestant Mary Sue Milliken, has a food truck roaming LA.
- Another Top Chef and Iron Chef is Chef Ludo Lefebvre. His truck is the Ludo Truck which runs around LA with his specialty chicken.
- The Flying Pig truck is opening a restaurant in Little Tokyo this month.
Seattle: The popular Skillet truck just opened their own restaurant.
Boston: Clover has been so successful that they’ve added three more trucks, upping their staff to 80 people = jobs! They have also signed a lease to open a restaurant soon.
Arlington, VA: District Taco truck opened a restaurant in May 2011. Sauca consists of four food trucks and they are also opening up a restaurant.
- Southern Mac & Cheese Truck just opened a restaurant in The Loop.
- Gaztro-Wagon opened both a store and truck at the same time.
- 5411 Empandas is signing a lease as well.
Far East Taco Grille, Takorean, and DC Empanadas have opened restaurants.
SUNdeVICH and BONMi are restaurants opening trucks.