University of Maryland students and College Park residents will soon have a variety of new food options as the city prepares to launch two food truck hubs Sept. 2 along and near Route 1.
Prince George’s County officials passed legislation in October 2015 to allow food trucks to operate and vend products within the county’s boundaries, according to the DC, Maryland and Virginia Food Truck Association’s website. Since then, officials from the city, county, university and the College Park Foundation have all collaborated to bring food trucks into the area.
The former site of the Little Tavern, located near the Route 1 Subway restaurant as well as the M-Square Research Park, will host a variety of food trucks throughout the week, said Ken Ulman, chief economic development strategist for the university’s College Park Foundation. The Foundation owns the land of the former Little Tavern site, and decided to lease it to College Park Ventures, a company directed by 2015 university alumnus David Engle and senior finance major Chris Szeluga.
College Park Ventures manages the food truck hubs, Engle said, and is in charge of recruiting and rotating food trucks through those locations. The site along Route 1 will be hosting the launch on Sept. 2 at 5 p.m., Engle said.
“We’ve embarked in a substantial marketing outreach to get a handful of trucks to take the risk and start vending in the county,” Szeluga said. “Marketing food trucks has been a collaborative effort. Dannielle [Glaros] and the county … put the foundation down.”
Glaros, a member of the county’s council, helped to spearhead this legislation, Glaros said. Despite previous negative experiences with food trucks in the county, Glaros said she is “thrilled” the city will have two hubs with more food options.
“We have a lot of employees all in our research park who need more and more food options, and I’m expecting more and more hubs to open up around the county,” Glaros said. “Food trucks are a gateway for a lot of folks to get into the business and then they turn into brick and mortar shops … increasing food opportunity in areas where we just don’t have that.”
Up to four food trucks will be at the M-Square Research Park location Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Engle said. The Route 1 site accommodates a maximum of two food trucks, which will be there Thursday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., he added.