Photo courtesy Herronstock.com
As of May 25th the iconic food trailer park on South Congress will be displaced to make room for a new hotel that is set to break ground this summer on the the 16th block of South Congress. While the food carts currently stationed on SoCo were long ready for this move, (they were first warned this past March,) it is with bittersweet tears that we wish adieu to this South Congress landmark.
Austin has always served as a mecca for artists, food cart aficionados and general weirdos; yet the recent expansion in size and population is pushing out many in favor of new grand condos and hotels. Just last May several carts were removed from the East Side Drive on 1001 East 6th due to a new condo that bought out that area; a month later more trucks were relocated from 2nd and Congress for the new JW Marriott Hotel. The South Lamar Trailer Bazaar was also short-lived.
While one of the many benefits of a food cart is its mobility, the rapid development of Austin is making new locations more and more scarce. While lots like the one on South Congress are preferable, with over 160 registered food carts in Austin, competition is stiff and rent is climbing. Outside of a lot, carts have to worry about competition from brick-and-mortar restaurants and the availability of fresh water and electricity. Attaching to a bar has proven a successful partnership for many, but even that option has scarce availability.
Several trucks have already moved from their spot on SoCo, while others are hurriedly trying to figure out new locations. But plenty are still there, so grab a friend and make sure to hit up the food trucks on South Congress before their last day of operation on May 24th.
Also, on Saturday there’s a “Save The Last Dance On South Congress Block Party” thrown by Short Bus Subs, Coat & Thai and Taco Baby with free beer and live music.
- Time running out for South Congress food trailers – KVUE
- The South Congress Food Trailers Have to Leave by May 25 – KUT News
- Real estate prosperity equals change in the food truck game – Austin Chronicle
- Check out austinfoodcarts.com to find out where your favorite food cart has moved
– via Page Jensen-Slattengren