Oh, wait, except it's not.
It's a new food truck park, Atlanta Food Truck Park. Right at the same corner. And, oh man, this one is open every day! My initial reaction was one of confusion. How could this possibly work out for both of them? It seemed kind of ... well ... not cool.
So, I reached out to Brett Holtzclaw of the Howell Mill Food Park to see what was up. Like any good marketer, he told me that he wishes the Atlanta Food Truck Park all the success in the world. "It's all good for the neighborhood," said Holtzclaw. "People are flocking to an area that they used to avoid."
Next, I called on Howard Hsu, founder of the Atlanta Food Truck Park. Hsu said that, as owner of the Sweet Auburn BBQ truck, he'd loved participating in the Howell Mill Food Park - but the fact of the matter is that he needed a more stable location for his business. He also pointed out that it was difficult for food truck owners to survive on working three or four events a week, and the events were always changing so there was very little stability for business owners. And so, the idea for the Atlanta Food Truck Park, which will be the first permanent food truck park in town, was born.
Now, I'm not saying my hard-hitting interview questions changed the course of food truck history - but just a few hours after I spoke with these fellas, I got a call saying they'd come to an agreement to merge the two parks under the name of the new Atlanta Food Truck Park. The deal was something that had been previously discussed, but as of early this week was off the table. The merger eliminates any chance of nasty competition in the area, and also gives Atlanta Food Truck Park access to the loyal following of 4,500 fans that Howell Mill Food Park has established.
Inspired by the street food scene in Austin, The Atlanta Food Truck park is trying to bring something new to the Atlanta market. In addition to lots of your favorite food trucks, they'll have a farmers market that sells veggies and local goodies including art, antiques, and vintage clothing. They eventually hope to have games like bocce ball, horseshoes, and a playground in the large, grassy lot behind the park area. The food trucks will rotate each night, and the truck owners are in control of when they want to come in - providing them the flexibility to still participate in other events, while heading to the park in their downtime.
"I have a lot of respect for Brett," said Hsu. "He did very well and provided a great opportunity for food trucks in this town. But to me, as someone who invested my whole life in this business, we just needed more. This is my livelihood. I wish I only had to work a few days a week!"
The new Atlanta Food Truck Park opens later this month.
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