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Food Trucks Coming Downtown

The Jax Truckies are pleased to announce that Downtown Jacksonville will now boast two legal locations where food trucks will operate five days a week. On Monday July 23rd, award-winning On The Fly food truck began operating at a permanent location on a private parking lot at the corner of Jefferson and Adams Street near the new Duval County Courthouse. Beginning Monday August 6th, a food truck will rotate daily at a municipally-owned parking lot at the corner of Forsyth and Main Streets near 11East and CoWork Jax. Follow the Jax Truckies on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JaxTruckies) or on Twitter (@JaxTruckies) to find out which trucks will operate from this lot daily.

Published August 2, 2012 in Dining & Nightlife      47 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature


On Monday July 23rd, award-winning On The Fly food truck began operating at a permanent location on a private parking lot at the corner of Jefferson and Adams Street near the new Duval County Courthouse.



Starting Monday August 6th, a food truck will rotate daily at a municipally-owned parking lot at the corner of Forsyth and Main Streets near 11East and CoWork Jax.


An auspicious start:

In November of 2010 Jacksonville food truck pioneers Drew and Curt Cavins opened Bus’In Your Chops, which acted as a mobile extension of their two popular Riverside restaurants Mossfire Grill and O’Brothers Irish Pub.  Facing constant harassment from local officials, the brothers sold their food truck operation six months later and the bus went South to a municipality that welcomed the kinds of pedestrian activity and small business creation food trucks stimulated.  One year after Keith Waller opened Jacksonville’s second food truck Monroes On The Go, an extension of the busy brick and mortar Monroes Smokehouse BBQ, the Jax Truckies organized Jacksonville’s first food truck championship at Bold City Brewery.

The response from both consumers seeking and commercial property owners who look to use food trucks to jumpstart commerce has been nothing short of phenomenal.  Restaurants, both mobile and stationery, add to an area’s unique culture.  The Jax Truckies Facebook page boasts over 2,000 followers and foodies crisscross the city to sample the gourmet fare these talented chefs prepare daily.



Today, more than 24 food trucks operate in Northeast Florida.  Despite the popularity of these mobile restaurants, restrictions still remain.  Restrictive zoning classifications currently prohibit food trucks from operating within the entertainment district along Bay Street.  Nightclub and bar owners along this stretch of downtown could benefit from the amenities and foot traffic food trucks can add to the area.  In Jacksonville Beach, food trucks cannot operate on public nor private property.  The Jacksonville Beach Planning Department is in the process of preparing draft legislation to present to City Council within 45 days.  

Diverse dining options, whether mobile or stationery, add to an area’s unique culture.  For downtown to become a vibrant destination, allowing for the organic growth of creative small businesses will prove to be the path that will make this goal a reality.


On Monday July 23rd, award-winning On The Fly food truck began operating at a permanent location on a private parking lot at the corner of Jefferson and Adams Street near the new Duval County Courthouse.  Beginning Monday August 6th, a food truck will rotate daily at a municipally-owned parking lot at the corner of Forsyth and Main Streets near 11East and CoWork Jax.

Follow the Jax Truckies on Facebook, or on Twitter (@JaxTruckies) to find out which trucks will operate from this lot daily.

Article by Mike Field







47 Comments

ben says

August 02, 2012, 07:41:15 AM
A step in the right direction

Bridges

August 02, 2012, 08:23:58 AM
Awesome!  Great work Field!

What hours will they be operating?

fieldafm

August 02, 2012, 09:17:55 AM
On The Fly is already operating downtown as of last week (they were at Florida Theatre last night for Art Walk).  They are open M-F 11-3pm.

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2012/07/31/on-the-fly-food-truck-finds-permanent.html

duvaldude08

August 02, 2012, 10:11:27 AM
A small step in the right direction!! This is about the most you can ask from this city, but its a start.I need to pay them a visit

fieldafm

August 02, 2012, 10:28:42 AM
http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2012/08/01/food-trucks-will-begin-daily-rotation.html

About to drive downtown for lunch (something I would never do without a meeting scheduled) and put quarters in the meter just to eat at On The Fly today.

JaxJag

August 02, 2012, 10:31:55 AM
fieldafm +1

Jacksonville is a BEAST!

tufsu1

August 02, 2012, 10:40:13 AM
About to drive downtown for lunch (something I would never do without a meeting scheduled) and put quarters in the meter just to eat at On The Fly today.

didn't you get enough last night?

stephendare

August 02, 2012, 10:42:20 AM
http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2012/08/01/food-trucks-will-begin-daily-rotation.html

About to drive downtown for lunch (something I would never do without a meeting scheduled) and put quarters in the meter just to eat at On The Fly today.

Great job and congratulations Mike.  Your tireless and hard work is what made this possible.  Thanks for being a good citizen and a good guy.  And thanks to everyone who has supported this cause, and showed up to show support for it.  But without your personal drive and vision, this would not be happening the way it is happening, Mr. Field!

Your one of the things that makes this a good place.

PeeJayEss

August 02, 2012, 11:13:12 AM
Awesome! Your roll in this shouldn't be understated, Fieldy. Good to see the city is listening, albeit with one ear (while the other is at a rock concert?)

After delicious Salty Fig yesterday (alongside Corner Taco) on King Street in Riverside, this is too much.

Tacachale

August 02, 2012, 11:24:00 AM
Awesome work Mike!

comncense

August 02, 2012, 07:40:36 PM
I talked to one of the owners of a food truck last night. I think it was Great American Cafe or something like that. The lady told me that they've been operating late nights on the weekends since last week, till around 3am on Bay Street. They were parked on the block that's between the blocks with Marks and the block with Underbelly. I was glad to hear that they will be around at night. I'm sure most people would rather have food from the food trucks rather than hot dogs and sausage dogs... (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Noone

August 02, 2012, 08:04:27 PM
Congratulations Mike!! Keep Making It Happen. Ride the rail and when you arrive at a Destination embark  at a Food Truck feast. OK Make it the skyway.

rjr120

August 02, 2012, 08:28:46 PM
It's great to see downtown start to warm up to the idea of food trucks, though it is a slow start.  It's a long road to walk, even in Riverside.

The Superfood truck had the cops called on them last Friday night by Kickback's.  They were pulled into the parking lot at Park Place, with permission, and had been there the past couple weeks on Fri and Sat nights.  I was there when the cops showed up to kick them out, but fortunately the JSO begrudgingly let them stay because (1) they were on private property and (2), even if the 300' rule applied on private property, they were well over that distance from Kickbacks.

Apparently they claimed the truck was drawing too many customers away from Kickbacks, per their complaint.  That was a bit hard to believe, however, considering they had a packed house when I took a look.  But hey, if someone wants vastly superior food in way less that half the extraordinarily long time it takes to get it at Kickbacks, then I see how a truck can do some serious "damage"!

So even a very pro-food truck area like the Post/College/King St district has a way to go before brick and mortar restaurants accept them being anywhere nearby.  There's is hope, however, but it's going to be up to us, the customers, to keep pushing on.  Go eat at your favorite food truck often!

rjr120

August 02, 2012, 08:32:20 PM
Oh, and the fried mac and cheese balls from the Superfood truck are AWESOME!

fieldafm

August 02, 2012, 08:51:41 PM
I talked to one of the owners of a food truck last night. I think it was Great American Cafe or something like that. The lady told me that they've been operating late nights on the weekends since last week, till around 3am on Bay Street. They were parked on the block that's between the blocks with Marks and the block with Underbelly. I was glad to hear that they will be around at night. I'm sure most people would rather have food from the food trucks rather than hot dogs and sausage dogs... (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Great American Food Truck and they are knowingly breaking the law.  They cannot park on City right of way.  It is not right that others are following the rules and they are not... And they know it too.  I made my thoughts on the issue clear to them last night. 

They should be allowed to compete like everyone else, and I hope they do well... But thumbing your nose at everyone else is quite respectfully, disrespectful.  I sincerely hope they wise up before the City starts citing them. 

Brian Siebenschuh

August 03, 2012, 03:29:59 AM
Quote
But hey, if someone wants vastly superior food in way less that half the extraordinarily long time it takes to get it at Kickbacks, then I see how a truck can do some serious "damage"!

Okay, I get the novelty draw of food trucks, and plenty of the food trucks we have here in Jax have well-written menus, and if they're on-site at a late night bar location or quick lunch break area near office workers, they're probably bringing some value to the scene - but they're not magic. 

All things considered, a brick and mortar restaurant should always provide a better experience than a food truck, just as a beach house vacation should provide a better experience than camping at Huguenot in July.

"Brick and Mortar" restaurants (or, as they were called prior to the food truck fad, uh... "restaurants") - have things like tables, chairs, air conditioning, and restrooms.  Food trucks (especially in Jacksonville, in August) provide... plastic utensils, and the opportunity to sit on a parking curb while you enjoy your lunch in the blazing sun.

So to bring it back around to the quote, if two guys in a van are putting out better food, faster than your kitchen team can manage in a proper restaurant kitchen - that doesn't mean those guys' food truck should be set up near your restaurant in order to provide "competition", it means you should fire your kitchen staff and hire the guys from the food truck, because they're kicking your guys' asses while cooking food in a van.  Right?

Noone

August 03, 2012, 06:22:23 AM

Great American Food Truck and they are knowingly breaking the law.  They cannot park on City right of way.  It is not right that others are following the rules and they are not... And they know it too.  I made my thoughts on the issue clear to them last night. 

They should be allowed to compete like everyone else, and I hope they do well... But thumbing your nose at everyone else is quite respectfully, disrespectful.  I sincerely hope they wise up before the City starts citing them. 

Remember 2010-856? The transient vendor ban? A one mile ban from a similar business and it's just not food and the only exemption is Downtown?

Legislation is pending right now 2012-364. Is this where an amendment could be attached to identify the food truck zone for Downtown?  This is separate from San Marco, Riverside and Avondale. 

Mike Congratulations again. You are kicking butt. Just saw you on WTLV and the cash mob for Sat. In Springfield.

Took someone kayaking Downtown yesterday and we put in at Mayor Brown's newest kayak launch on Hogans Creek at Catherine St. Outgoing tide. Went to Bay St. Pier Park and the guys working on connecting the Riverwalk to Bay St. Were there and all waved as we paddled by. I mention this here because when we returned we had to exit (bail) at the Old St. Luke's Hospital and get out on private property because it was a low tide. The food truck issue is heating up because MJ has shown how it can be an organic cluster of mobile vibrancy. Now the rules need tweaking. That's all.

Still haven't heard back from the Riverkeeper (Administration) on a letter of support for Bay St. Pier Park. (Supports Food Trucks)

Be concerned.

Shipyards III

fieldafm

August 06, 2012, 08:40:51 AM
Corner Taco will be out today at the corner of Main/Forsyth(across the street from CoWork Jax) at the new food truck lot!!! 

On The Fly will also be in their normal spot on Jefferson/Adams near the courthouse (behind the old Wormans building, in front of the Ronco building)

Josh

August 06, 2012, 12:09:38 PM
Just got back from checking out Corner Taco. The food was really good and it looks like that spot will do really well since the line was getting pretty long even before noon.

fsquid

August 06, 2012, 01:27:55 PM
Quote
The Superfood truck had the cops called on them last Friday night by Kickback's.

That's a damn shame.  I have a lot of respect for Kickback's and it doesn't seem like they would be competing since the food truck probably doesn't have 80 beer taps.

Josh

August 06, 2012, 03:00:46 PM
Quote
The Superfood truck had the cops called on them last Friday night by Kickback's.

That's a damn shame.  I have a lot of respect for Kickback's and it doesn't seem like they would be competing since the food truck probably doesn't have 80 beer taps.

Some of the restaurants in Avondale complained that if 7/11 came to the area it would steal away food business from them. Ugh.

While the Superfood truck doesn't have 80+ beer taps to compete with Kickbacks, Dahlia's does. Apparently Kickbacks will still deliver food to you if you drink there. How about that...

fsquid

August 06, 2012, 03:03:59 PM
sounds hypocritical.

rjr120

August 06, 2012, 04:36:03 PM
Quote
The Superfood truck had the cops called on them last Friday night by Kickback's.

That's a damn shame.  I have a lot of respect for Kickback's and it doesn't seem like they would be competing since the food truck probably doesn't have 80 beer taps.

Kickback's has lost a customer in me for both their current incarnation and the new business they are building next door.  I found out yesterday, after noting that the Superfood truck was not out that weekend, that they will not return to the area.  They were made to feel very unwelcome by the businesses in the area, with Kickbacks being the main culprit.

It's too bad because, after Intuition stepping up to host the food truck rally after downtown said no, I thought of the College/King/Post street district to be food truck friendly.  I guess Kickbacks is too frightened by cheaper food that is better than what they currently put out with way less of a wait time.  I haven't liked the food at Kickbacks for the past year now.  It was good when they first opened but has gone downhill since then.  I won't eve speak of the hour plus wait time to get the food once it's been ordered.  I guess the only late night food options for the area remain the Wendy's and Taco Bell.

If you are serious about food trucks being permitted to operate in the area as a compliment to the brick and mortar restaurants, the you should join me in boycotting Kickback's and the new place that they will open up next door.  You can get the same beer at Dahlia's or much cheaper at Beer 30.

fieldafm

August 08, 2012, 01:20:05 PM
Folio has included a food truck category in their 'Best of Jax' awards.

Vote for your favorite food truck today:
http://www.folioweekly.com/bestofjax2012.php

Also, consider voting for Jax Truckies as the best thing to happen in Jax in 2012, and Metrojacksonville for both best local blog   and  best local online news site.

fieldafm

August 13, 2012, 10:55:00 AM
More press:

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/423471/gary-mills/2012-08-13/fly-food-truck-new-lunch-option-duval-county-courthouse

http://www.news4jax.com/news/Food-trucks-setting-up-shop-downtown/-/475880/16066236/-/oeuft2z/-/index.html


This week, On The Fly will be at Jefferson/Adams Monday-Friday.

Corner Taco is at Main/Forsyth today.  Up in Smoke BBQ will be there Tuesday and Monroes BBQ will be there Thursday.

BigGuy219

August 15, 2012, 10:39:39 PM
More press:

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/423471/gary-mills/2012-08-13/fly-food-truck-new-lunch-option-duval-county-courthouse

http://www.news4jax.com/news/Food-trucks-setting-up-shop-downtown/-/475880/16066236/-/oeuft2z/-/index.html


This week, On The Fly will be at Jefferson/Adams Monday-Friday.

Corner Taco is at Main/Forsyth today.  Up in Smoke BBQ will be there Tuesday and Monroes BBQ will be there Thursday.

Hooray. Monroe's tomorrow!

This is right across the street from me, so I am thrilled to death.

thelakelander

August 15, 2012, 10:41:29 PM
That does sound good.  I'll be downtown tomorrow.  A stop at Monroe's may be in order.

BigGuy219

August 15, 2012, 10:51:37 PM
That does sound good.  I'll be downtown tomorrow.  A stop at Monroe's may be in order.

Well after two and a half years we finally agree on something ... BBQ.

It's a start!

thelakelander

August 15, 2012, 11:13:39 PM
Lol, you have to start somewhere!

BigGuy219

August 16, 2012, 12:40:36 PM
It was so good!

Monroe's will be there 50 more minutes.

Get down there while you can!

...are there rules about going twice in the same day?

fsujax

August 16, 2012, 01:09:39 PM
Just left there. Decent crowd. If you haven't had their wings, you should give them a try.

BigGuy219

August 21, 2012, 11:42:40 AM
Up in Smoke BBQ is there today!

So good!

Best thing to happen to my part of downtown.

thelakelander

August 21, 2012, 12:04:00 PM
Glad you like it.  This proves that we don't "have" to spend millions of dollars to activate and better utilize parts of downtown.  Sometimes, its as simple as searching for ways to open the door for small business to succeed and do what it does best, which is stimulate needed foot traffic in downtown. This is an example of the concept of "tactical urbanism" that this site has long promoted for the revitalization of downtown.

BigGuy219

August 21, 2012, 04:27:59 PM
Is there any place I can subscribe to alerts of who will be setting up there?

Up in Smoke told me they expect to be there every Tuesday.

Will Corner Taco be there every Monday, Monroe's every Thursday, etc.?

fsujax

August 21, 2012, 04:30:44 PM
^^join Jax Truckies on facebook.

JFman00

August 21, 2012, 04:32:37 PM
Do the food trucks ever come aboard NAS?

JoeMerchant

August 21, 2012, 04:34:18 PM
Is there any place I can subscribe to alerts of who will be setting up there?

Up in Smoke told me they expect to be there every Tuesday.

Will Corner Taco be there every Monday, Monroe's every Thursday, etc.?

Try Jax Truckies on Facebook, as far as I've been told there is a set schedule, but I'm not sure if they have every day filled yet.

BigGuy219

August 23, 2012, 11:42:09 AM
Monroe's is here! Monroe's is here!

Anyone who hasn't tried the sweet potato souffle is missing out.

So far it gets my award for best food truck side.

The line as I left was quite impressive and gives me hope this spot will become very successful and food will keep being dropped off at my front door.

Ocklawaha

August 23, 2012, 12:41:04 PM
Do the food trucks ever come aboard NAS?

I'm hoping to get them to rally in Yukon this Fall.

Funny though, did you know in the 1950's and 60's the 'Greasy Spoon' chow hall and the general mess had a fleet of canteen trucks populated like a pig palace. They had a rolling gedunk, complete with belly wash and the traditional cup of Joe. I hardly think the old Canteen Service they could compete with the Truckie's though!

Elwood

August 23, 2012, 10:23:35 PM
Mayport still had a canteen truck running around base as late as 1986.

fieldafm

August 28, 2012, 01:43:29 PM
Folio has included a food truck category in their 'Best of Jax' awards.

Vote for your favorite food truck today:
http://www.folioweekly.com/bestofjax2012.php

If you think Mother Fletchers has the best wings (I do) or that Monroes / Driftwood has the best bbq or Corner Taco / On The Fly has the best tacos... food trucks can win individual categories as well!

Also, consider voting for Jax Truckies as the best thing to happen in Jax in 2012, and Metrojacksonville for both best local blog   and  best local online news site.

If Jax Truckies gets recognized, we'll donate $100 to Second Harvest in our fans' honor.

Thursday is the last day.  You must vote on at least 30 items for your submission to count!

BigGuy219

September 13, 2012, 08:28:22 PM
Well this has been a bad week. Up in Smoke didn't come Tuesday, Corner Taco didn't come Wednesday, and Monroe's didn't come today.

Up in Smoke has missed coming downtown a few times, but the rest have been fairly consistent.

Have the food trucks given up on downtown?

fieldafm

September 13, 2012, 10:27:19 PM
Corner Taco isn't usually there on Wednesdays.  They were there two weeks ago only b/c their normal Wednesday spot was closed and then came downtown last Wed because they could stay there all day as they were participating in Art Walk later that night.  Monroe's(like most of the trucks today) stayed at home because of the bad rain all morning.  On the Fly was also not at the Courthouse b/c of the weather.  The Main/Forsyth parking lot itself also presents some access problems for some of the larger trucks who  physically get into and out of the lot.  The life of a food truck is different than that of a brick and mortar. 

The trucks all do well downtown and a permanent Wednesday member is about to set up shop in the next week or two.  A lot near downtown will also open up tomorrow.  We have another food tuck rally downtown on Florida/Georgia weekend. Furthermore we are about to announce another downtown location shortly. 

To make an assumption that food tucks have given up on downtown is grossly innacurate.  Except for Wednesdays there are two trucks operating every weekday downtown as long as it doesn't rain.  Considering the City basically bans them from operating downtown, that's pretty good coverage. 

BigGuy219

October 04, 2012, 02:31:37 PM
It seems that many of the foodtrucks will be downtown this Saturday for something called "Community First Saturdays". They say they're going to be in some parking lot by the old courthouse, but I have no idea where that is.

Does anyone know where that is? I'd like to go and eat the food.

fieldafm

October 04, 2012, 02:37:34 PM
It's the large riverfront parking lot next to the old Courthouse building... across from the Hyatt.

Food truck rally runs from 11AM to dusk(or earlier if the trucks run out of food).  There is also a beer garden in conjunction with the food truck rally.

Facebook.com/JaxTruckies
Facebook.com/CommunityFirstSaturdays

BigGuy219

October 05, 2012, 10:07:04 PM
Gourmet Aviator has posted a map where the food trucks will be.

http://www.facebook.com/gourmetaviator

Please come down and support the food trucks so that I continue to have delicious food delivered to my front door on a regular basis.
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