A local entrepreneur is trying to help Seattle’s food truck scene—by starting a food truck and beer park in Ballard. Steve Katsandres, who used to own Bad Albert’s Tap and Grill, plans to open Ballard Bites and Brew in April (pending some final permitting) in a formerly empty lot at 1502 NW 50th Street. The park will include a “draft shack,” half of which will be a drive-thru espresso stand and serve “gourmet breakfast sandwiches” from 6 to 10:30 in the morning, the other half of which will serve beer. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., they’ll be three or four food trucks, which will rotate. “Some will be for lunch, some will be for dinner, some might stay the whole day,” said Katsandres. Confirmed trucks so far include Skillet Street Food and Marination Mobile.
Katsandres said the idea initially came from his (silent) business partner. They noticed the city only had pods, in which food trucks are stationary and there’s no seating. “We didn’t see anything that had a park-like setting,” he said. “The idea was to bring a really nice environment for food trucks. They don’t have a lot of places to go.” Katsandres and his partner will supply the espresso, beer, wine, and gourmet sandwiches, but the rest of the offerings will be from other vendors.
The “park” will actually be a fenced-in lot with trees planted around the perimeter. The space itself will be enclosed and covered. The truck owners will have access to power so they won’t have to use generators, and the sewer so they can drain their gray water. There will also be wi-fi, full bathrooms on-site, and a stage for bands to play in the summertime.
Is Katsandres concerned about backlash from nearby brick-and-mortar restaurants? “There’s always someone who may not be happy with it, but what we’re trying to do is bring people to Ballard,” he said. “We’re not just in this for ourselves. We want everybody to be happy.”
Interested in having a food truck there? Monitor Ballard Bites and Brew’s Facebook page for application information.