Whether its tacos on Tuesday or waffles on Wednesday, food trucks are integral to the South Sound food scene. Often operating at special events or local attractions, food trucks offer hungry residents a unique meal to enjoy on the go. And beginning in April, Lacey residents will be able to explore a diverse menu of sweet and savory treats at Lacey’s newest food truck court.
A project led by the City of Lacey, this upcoming food truck spot is an initial step toward a wider revitalization effort at the intersection between Pacific Avenue Southeast and Lacey Boulevard Southeast. Located in an area dubbed as the “Depot District,” this food truck court neighbors a replica of Lacey’s original train depot.
At the new food truck court, residents can learn more about Lacey’s history, while also enjoying a range of new community amenities, including a picnic area, locomotive-themed playground and restrooms that are housed within the Depot building.
“We are starting to build the civic space out in this portion of Lacey,” says Rick Walk, director of community and economic development for the City of Lacey. “Which sits at the beginning of our history.”
The City of Lacey also has plans to move the Lacey Museum within the Depot District, aiming to provide more extensive exhibits and a greater community event and recreation space. The Lacey Museum currently resides in a historical home near the city center, but due to space restraints, this location can only host a limited number of visitors and displays.
The Lacey Depot, playground and food truck court is the first step toward realizing this long-term plan to develop the Depot District. Walk says welcoming food trucks to the site is an organic way to create a dedicated community space.
“We’ll be setting up a spot where we’ll do some site prep, freshen up the gravel, create some landscaping improvements along the perimeter, do a little bit of signage, then just make the space available for food trucks to park on that rotating schedule,” explains Walk.
Collaborating with the Washington State Food Truck Association, the City of Lacey has already recruited several local food trucks to operate out of the new food truck court from Tuesday to Friday. When the site officially opens in April, there are plans to have at least two food trucks at the site on a rotating basis. As the weather grows warmer and as more residents visit the site, the city anticipates adding even more food truck options. Walk says the city also intends for a diverse menu available at the site, from burgers to Tex-Mex cuisine options. In the summer months, there are also potential opportunities for pop-up markets, including for local farmers to sell seasonal produce.
“We’d love to see this become a year-round location,” says Walk. “And then as the summer goes on, and we may get interested in local growers that want to pull up and sell produce out of their pickups. We’ll also provide opportunity or potential for a pop-up market.”
In addition to revitalizing this new Lacey district, Walk says this new food truck court is also way for the city to support the small business community and provide further economic development opportunities for local restaurant and food truck owners.
“Lacey is the most diverse community in Thurston County,” says Walk. “And we have a real strong entrepreneurial nature to our community and especially in our community of color. This is an opportunity to help grow that entrepreneurial nature. So, if we can start establishing food trucks and we can start developing access to businesses from our community, it also provides this opportunity for business development entrepreneurs. As we grow this, we want to create that network of ecosystems that support this endeavor.”
The new Lacey food truck court is located at the intersection of Lacey Boulevard Southeast and Lebanon Street Southeast. To learn more about Lacey’s Depot District project, visit the City of Lacey website. For updates on the city’s new food truck court, visit the City of Lacey Facebook page.