Food Truck Thursdays at Brook Run Park over the past four years has brought thousands to the natural setting of the 102-acre park. Could it be time to try the concept at Dunwoody’s newest park opening April 29?
Bill Grossman, a member of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, proposed the idea of Food Truck Tuesdays at Pernoshal Park to the City Council at its April 25 meeting, seeking city funding up to $5,000.
“This would be a way to expose the park to a lot of people … and if we can bring in enough we could get people in the habit of coming to the park,” Grossman said. “We still get new people to Brook Run and we are into our fourth year.”
If Food Truck Tuesdays moves forward, it would start in late May after DeKalb County schools got out for summer vacation, Grossman said. Currently DHA pays $500 for the sound engineer and the live entertainment at Food Truck Thursdays. That would likely be the same amount of funding needed for the Tuesday events.
Pernoshal Park at 5 acres would host a much smaller crowd than Food Truck Thursdays, Grossman said. Pernoshal is one of several smaller parks that are part of the city’s Project Renaissance. It is connected to Brook Run Park by a multi-use trail.
The $5,000 would cover costs for 10 Food Truck Tuesdays that would go through October, Grossman said.
Mayor Denis Shortal wondered if the idea of two days of food truck events in the city would over saturate the market and possibly negatively affect local businesses because people would be eating at the park rather than in restaurants.
“We do request every truck to buy a city of Dunwoody business license. Some of the food truck vendors are Dunwoody-owned,” Grossman said.
While council members appeared supportive of the idea, a major concern they raised was parking. There is a business parking lot with 100 spaces located across the street from the park, Grossman pointed out. Also, there are a few apartment complexes nearby and the idea is to encourage people to walk to the park.
“We think there is adequate parking in the area but we won’t know until we try it,” Grossman said.
Several council members suggested funding six Tuesdays and wait to see if the event is popular enough to fund the remaining four Tuesdays.
Councilmember John Heneghan said it was time for the city to step up and fund such ideas that promote the city.
“I’m of the opinion we need to do this,” he said. “The city doesn’t fund enough events. DHA has done their fair share. I want to make sure city government does its fair sure. I’m of the opinon we go all in.”
Grossman said DHA would be considering Food Truck Tuesday at its Sunday, May 1 meeting. The council will consider the proposal at a later date.