People have called Worcester a lot of things over the years, but rarely have we been called dense. Density is here at last. In 2018, there is a walkable, vibrant vision afoot on account of new development downtown and no one knows it better than Mark Gallant.
In 2010 when Gallant started The Dogfather food truck, there were only 4 food trucks on the road in the entire city. Today, there are over 30.
Gallant founded WooTrucks in 2015 and built a food truck commissary at 5 Harrison Street to serve as a base of operations for him and his professional colleagues. Now, he’s taking the collaborative culture a step further by establishing “Food Truck Row,” a destination which will host a minimum of five vendors during lunch every Monday through Saturday, with the capacity for up to ten trucks. General attendance and parking will be free.
Downtown is rapidly transforming into a neighborhood on account of projects like Trinity Financial’s $55 million investment to transform the former Worcester County Courthouse into apartments. Just across the way, the Worcester Memorial Auditorium sits idly by, waiting for a “unicorn” developer to strike. On March 5th, the ‘Aud’ will surely see some action when Food Truck Row launches its soft opening. Food Truck Row will take shape in the municipal parking lot at 40 Highland Street, directly behind the ‘Aud.’
“The soft opening will include The Dogfather along with Sabor Latino, Pangea (out of Leominster), Teddy’s Lunchbox, Captain Ron’s, and Big T’s Jerky House,” Gallant shared. A grand opening is scheduled for April 2nd, barring a spring snowstorm.
WooTrucks won’t stop there. With camaraderie comes a healthy sense of competition. Gallant is organizing the first official Food Truck Throw Down, scheduled for May 5th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Green Hill Park. A panel of “local celebrity judges” will elect the best truck in Worcester, but festivities will also include a People’s Choice Award. Ballots will cost just $1.
Beyond simply satisfying our appetites, food trucks have major spatial benefits which impact our ability to activate blank territories throughout the city. Supporting Food Truck Row means supporting Worcester in a big way.