Summer weekends at the park may be more enjoyable for Lakeville residents this year.
After requests from Lakeville residents for food and drink options at the city’s popular Antlers Park, officials are considering bringing in two food truck vendors this summer.
Food trucks would begin serving the park on Memorial Day and continue service on weekends through Labor Day. To choose the vendors, the city is starting a request-for-proposal (RFP) process next week.
The specifics of the pilot program won’t be known until after the RFP process is complete.
“It was really [the city] wanting to provide options,” Parks and Recreation Director Brett Altergott said.
The park and adjoining Lake Marion see thousands of visitors each summer, Altergott said, and the city needs to accommodate the crowd.
The last time Antlers Park had concession operations was 1986. That stand is still in the park but isn’t usable, Altergott said.
He said the city wanted to start with two trucks because state laws prohibit vendors from operating at one location for more than 21 days in a year. The pilot program could continue and expand next year if it’s popular with residents this summer, Altergott said.
Marty Richie, owner of Lakeville-based food truck Motley Crews Heavy Metal Grill, said the pilot program will be a good gateway into the suburbs for local vendors. He also co-founded the Minnesota Food Truck Association last year and said the vendors have slowly moved into suburban towns over the past couple years as the demand increases.
Richie said MFTA is helping Burnsville write its city ordinance for food truck regulations.
The group is also pushing for Edina to allow food trucks to operate in the city through a grass-roots campaign.
“Food trucks are the way [of] the future,” Richie said.
RFP forms will be available on the city’s website March 3.
Meghan Holden is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.