The food truck trend is moving into the suburbs, and Richardson is the latest city to sign on. A concept called the Richardson Food Truck Park just received approval from the city's planning commission, with a targeted soft opening in late June.
Founder Michelle Chesney says that her concept differs from other food truck parks in the works because of the uniqueness of the site, which is an old house. The address is 522 Bishop Ave., just south of Arapaho Road off 75 and north of the city's Chinatown district.
"It's located in the Interurban district of Richardson, which was recently rezoned with the intention of modeling this area after the Design District in Dallas," Chesney says. "Interurban is light industrial, but it had two residential houses. One had been abandoned for years and was on the market as a teardown.
"The space reminded me of the food truck park in Fort Worth, which is also in an industrial area."
Her plan is to host five trucks such as Ruthie's, with two yard areas, including one for kids. "We'll have some play equipment. You have to have something for kids; it's a necessity here," she says. "And then a whole other yard area with more tables and maybe live music."
The park has potential both as a lunch spot for businesses nearby and as an entertainment destination.
"It's a five-minute walk from the Arapaho DART rail station," she says. "For locals, there's a lot of different angles. There's nowhere to get lunch around here. We're thinking of doing a bike-delivery service at lunch. And then we're near Four Bullets Brewery and Eiland Coffee.
"I can foresee a Saturday expedition where you take the train to Richardson, you go to the brewery and the food truck park."
The Richardson City Council will give its approval on April 27, and then Chesney anticipates a month or two for renovations, with an opening in early summer.
Food trucks have been around for a few years, but she says they're still a thing. "Every day there are new trucks, and you get visiting food trucks from other places," she says. "There's the one opening in Plano. I think it's time for it to get to the 'burbs."