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Downtown food trucks get new locations

Accessibility key to mobile vendors success

SAN ANTONIO - At Lucus Whelchel's Blazin' Burgers food truck, the grill was sizzling Monday. So was business.

"We get a lot more foot traffic," the food truck vendor said. "Everybody notices we're here now."

"Here" is smack in the middle of downtown at Main Plaza where plenty of lawyers and business suits moseyed out for a bite of lunch.

"It's very convenient," said Margaret Velasquez, who works downtown.

Convenience is the key.

After the initial locations for the city's downtown food truck pilot program failed to thrive, the city announced a new schedule with three new locations: Main Plaza on Mondays and Thursdays, Weston Centre on Wednesdays and Travis Park on Tuesdays and Fridays.

For the complete schedule, visit www.sanantonio.gov/dtops

Tony Quintinliani, owner of Apizza Mia, said the new and improved Main Plaza location, where he tossed his pizza dough Monday, beat the old location in the Ctiy Annex parking lot.

"It was behind a wall," he said. "You couldn't see us over there. All they could do was smell my good food."

Ashley Villareal, with the Cheesy Jane's food truck, agreed the new spot was much better for business and for the customers.

"There's tables out here and it's shady," she said. "They can bring their lunch outdoors and have a nice lunch break."

The vendors pay a $225 fee to participate in the pilot program, which began May 1 and ends Oct. 31. Now, they said, they are getting their money's worth.

With the food truck craze in high gear, the city wanted to get in on the action, spicing up downtown life.

"For the first day, it hit pretty good," Whelchel said, while piling the shoestring onion rings high on the burger. "I think it's going to grow fast here."


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