Austin’s food parks underwent a dramatic transformation in the past two years. Long gone are the piecemeal parks built on quasi-parking lots and vacant properties. Today, purpose-built food parks are spurring up throughout the city which are leaps and bounds friendlier than their predecessors.
One of these newly built parks is East 7th Eats. Slowly but surely, this park has endured the push and pull of city regulations that other food park owners, developers and general bureaucrats are all too familiar with.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Bianca DeLeon about East 7th Eats, it’s plans and upcoming grand opening.
(FTA) What drove you to create East 7th Eats?
(BD) I’m a big fan of food trailers. They are fast, out in the sun and fresh air, and great food at a decent price. It also gives young food entrepreneurs a chance to be self employed and build a clientele and move to brick and mortar if they choose to. When I first saw the lot on E. 7th, I knew it would be the perfect food trailer lot. I have worked on acquiring the place for 2 years.
(FTA) How many trucks/trailers do you plan on having on-site?
(BD) The lot will easily accommodate 8 trailers, 4 on each side of the lot, leaving a picnic table area running the full length of the lot from the alley to the frontage on 7th St.
(FTA) You have a background in music and event planning. Anything special in store for the park?
(BD) As soon as there are enough trailers on the lot, I will have a grand opening with live music. I have checked with the city and can have a certain amount of amplified music per year, but the rest of the time I am thinking of having un-amplified songwriter nights under the tree on a regular basis. The block wall and tree make a great sound area for music giving the area great acoustics and keeping out the traffic noise. I will probably bring a band there myself from time to time when I am not on the road. www.biancamusic.com
(FTA) East Austin is becoming a hotbed for food trucks. What makes East 7th Eats different?
(BD) When I first saw the lot two years ago, I thought it would make a perfect food trailer lot. It is level, completely shielded from the sun by a block wall on the west side, and a huge heritage pecan tree shades almost all of the lot. It is higher than 6th St. with nothing but Takobas’ parking lot between the lot and 6th st. so it has high visibility on 6th & 7th and it has a nice view of the State Cemetery. The open space created by Takobas’ parking lot and the cemetery create and unobstructed air corridor for a steady breeze. Very important for food trailers. There is street parking and 4 spaces on the lot.
(FTA) What is your favorite food trailer/truck to eat at?
(BD) My favorite trailer is Spartan Pizza. I am addicted to it. I can’t pass by the lot without going in. It’s like drugs. Just one more slice.
(FTA) If you owned a food truck, what would it be called and what would you serve?
(BD) I would probably call it Carmelita’s, after one of my c.d.’s. I would serve smoked salmon tacos with my homemade salsa, roasted corn on the cob, green salad and potato salad. I love to cook and frequently have dinner parties. I grow all of my own herbs and veggies. Organic of course.
(FTA) When can folks go grab a bite at East 7th Eats?
(BD) Lunch and dinner are great times to visit the park! Aunt Fanny’s and OMG Cheesecakery are there and open. You can also get some breakfast with El Charreado and keep your eyes out for the newest addition, a Churro trailer!
(FTA) Are you still looking for trucks to be on-site?
(BD) We sure are! Interested parties can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As of now, rent is $450/mo including utilities while the park establishes some roots.