While visiting Portland, Streat Mobile Bistro owner Izzy Schachner was enamored by the concept of "pods," semi-permanent gathering spaces for that city's 500-plus food trucks. Rather than roam the streets in search of a sweet spot, food trucks there park en masse at various pods and attract huge crowds.
"The thing I liked most about that system was that the parking lot owner charged a little rent and invested money in the space," says Schachner, taking a break from feeding the cast and crew of Draft Day. "They would install a tent, put out tables and chairs, a hand washing station, bathrooms… It was very family friendly."
These are some of the amenities that Schachner and MidTown Cleveland hope to aspire to at the new weekly food truck round-up The Chomp. Starting this Tuesday, May 14, Streat Mobile and other food trucks will feed hungry folks in the neighborhood from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m.
This "pod" will be set up at E. 46th Street and Euclid, a privately owned street that will be fenced off. Nearby parking lots will offer free and easy parking for those in Midtown and beyond.
"The goal is to help make Midtown a relevant place, not just during the day but at night too," adds Schachner.
To help achieve that goal, Midtown also is announcing The Pour, a monthly happy hour that will feature food trucks and alcohol vendors in an open-air environment. The first one takes place on May 30, with others taking place on the last Thursday of every month.
"We're hoping for a big launch," he adds.