MINNEAPOLIS - When Josh Thoma first sold his famous lobster rolls three years ago, he never dreamed the Smack Shack would be such a hit.
"We can do up to 400 people a day for lunch," Thoma said. "That's a lot of lobster!"
But even with his food truck business rolling, he wishes weekends were on the menu.
"I think it'd be great for us to go downtown and serve lunch during the week, which we already do," Thoma said, "And then have somewhere to go on Saturday and Sunday, where we know there are going to be people."
That "somewhere" is Minneapolis parks. The city is looking at a trial plan that would let food trucks with a daily permit serve at 16 city parks. Ten would be open to vendors every day.
Nine parks would be open on Fridays only, an idea the Park and Recreation Board hopes might grow into a weekly summer event.
"People could come down, enjoy a lot of great food, a lot of variety of food, maybe listen to some music, and maybe it's a Friday night for a couple of hours," said Shane Stenzel of the Minneapoils Park and Recreation Board. "And that's what the parks are for."
Vendors like Thoma agree. They say the same food that's sold so well on city streets would be just as good in city parks.
"The response to food trucks in Minneapolis is huge," Thoma said. "Who wouldn't want a lobster roll, right?"
The Park and Recreation Board will vote on the idea Wednesday night and again next week.
If it passes, it would start as soon as May, and would only affect some of the smaller parks that don't already have food options:
Daily Use Parks:
Father Hennepin Bluff
Theodore Wirth Beach
Friday Event Parks:
- Bohemian Flats
- Boom Island
- Calhoun Executive Center
- East River Flats
- Lake Nokomis
- Mill Ruins
- Parade Park
- Theodore Wirth Beach
- Webber Park
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