A friend of mine is paying a visit to Austin Texas this week, and while he’s there he’s exploring the food trailer scene. Not the food truck scene mind you – the food trailer scene. Buffalo has a couple of permanently stationed food trailers, including the Lake Effect Diner in the University District and Square 1 Sandwiches in Larkinville.
My friend feels that there is an opportunity to spur Buffalo’s food scene further by exploring the idea of permanently stationed food trailers in key parking lots in the city (a bit like the shipping containers). Obviously Buffalo’s food truck business has kicked into high gear, with new four-wheel food operations hitting the road throughout the year.
The beauty of the food trailers is that operators can create semi-permanent seating arrangements around the trailers that give the businesses a sense of place. Customers always know where to find the trailers, which gives the operators a chance to settle in. Instead of roaming the city, the trailers become destinations.
Another advantage to the trailer idea (much like the shipping containers) is that they can be clustered into food courts. They also turn dead parking lots into active oases.
While many operators prefer brick and mortar, and others choose to hit the road, there is a breed of foodies that finds something charming about creating something out of nothing… literally pulling up, settling down and opening for business.
There’s something to be said for cities that have a healthy cross-section of culinary choices for people who are always on the lookout for different cuisines and atmospheres. After all, options are always good to have, and while food trailers are certainly not new concepts, they have fallen out of favor with the advent of the food truck. Hopefully nostalgia will prevail and we will see a few more of these food trailers pull up down the road.