Redmond Food Truck Corral offers variety of lunch options
August 3, 2012 · Updated 10:08 AM
For anyone looking for something new at lunch, the Redmond Food Truck Corral (RFTC) downtown offers a variety of quick choices for hungry diners.
From gourmet hot dogs and American fare to Caribbean cuisine and barbecue, lunchers can try something different almost every weekday at a single location in the parking lot of Redmond Auto Detail at 15904 Bear Creek Pkwy., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The RFTC came together at the end of May and beginning of June when Jerk Station owner Michael Cunningham was finishing up a contract with Microsoft Corp. One of the company’s cafeterias was being renovated and he was on campus to provide a dining alternative during construction.
As the renovation came closer to completion, Cunningham needed a new location to park his truck.
“We were invited to the neighborhood by one of the employees in the Riverpark office building,” he said, referring to the building located across the street from Redmond Auto Detail.
Cunningham said three other trucks were invited along with his: Happy Grillmore, CurryNow and Pai’s.
The trucks initially parked on the street but as traffic increased in the area, he said that was becoming an unreliable option.
So Cunningham approached Paul Thomas, the owner of Redmond Auto Detail, and asked if the trucks could use his parking lot.
Thomas said he understood Cunningham’s efforts to establish his small business in Redmond and wanted to help a fellow businessman.
“I know how hard it is to run a small business,” Thomas said.
Thomas said Cunningham and the rest of the food trucks are welcome in his parking lot for as long as they want to be there and had nothing but good things to say about Cunningham’s efforts.
“He’s doing a good job,” Thomas said. “He’s really on top of it. He’s putting together a good thing.”
In addition to the RFTC, Cunningham has helped organized the Daytona Laguna Food Truck Corral just off of 148th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 31st Street.
Cunningham said all of the trucks are properly licensed to operate and don’t require any additional permitting to park in the detailing shop’s parking lot. He said once the food trucks receive permission to be at a location, there may be some stipulations by the brick-and-mortar businesses on site such as adding their names to insurance policies, but that’s about it.
“We’re all accustomed to working on private property,” Cunningham said. “It’s pretty straight forward.”
He said since the RFTC arrived in the neighborhood, things have been a bit slow to pick up because it’s not one of the busier areas of downtown, but business is slowly picking up and he even has a few regulars. Because of this, Cunningham said it’s been challenging trying to maintain a consistent lineup of trucks.
“From week to week, it varies,” he said.
Currently, the RFTC’s typical weekly lineup is G&G Dogs on Tuesday, Skillet and La Barriga Llena on Wednesday, Jerk Station and My Chef Lynn on Thursday and Buns on Friday.
“I’ve tried all of (the food trucks),” Thomas said. “They’re all great in their different way.”
In addition, he said while it is difficult to tell, it is possible Redmond Auto Detail has provided the food trucks some business, as well, from their customers who have come to get their cars detailed during the lunch hour.
Cunningham said he hopes to get a consistent lineup Monday through Friday so people will begin to associate the location with food trucks. He said he wants different trucks each day instead of one permanent truck at the location because it gives people a variety of choices. This also gives people an incentive to stop by if they know a particular truck will only be there on a specific day.
G&G Dogs cart operators Courtney King and Laura Orella agreed. They said people are more likely to stop by if they know a truck won’t be there the next day.
Also like Cunningham, King, who has been working the RFTC since it began, said things started out slow but they do have some regulars now. She said most are people who work in the surrounding businesses or live in the nearby apartments.
“It’s been really nice,” King said.