Generally speaking, food trucks are awesome. They’re mobile. They’re accessible. They can stand alone as a worthwhile lunch staple. They can combine forces to make the best impromptu food court around. They revolutionized the food game and there’s no denying it.
But in a world of constant change and innovation, there’s your basic food truck game, and then there’s the next level stuff that’s about to come to one Connecticut town.
According to We-Ha, West Hartford is about to become home to one of the coolest dining, drinking, activity spots in the entire state and maybe the region. Reminiscent of Boston’s Lawn on D, the food truck park soon to be known as Gastro Park will combine food trucks, lawn games, outdoor activities, and a bar that will open to the outdoor space when weather permits.
The brain child of Iron & Grain food truck owner Tate Norden, I am already pumped for this thing. Norden told We-Ha that he envisions cornhole, bocce, Jenga, maybe sand volleyball, all taking place in front of a backdrop of Connecticut’s best food trucks. He also wants to include a permanent pop-up stand for non-food-truck chefs to come show their skills and serve up cuisine. And the bar will have 20 taps and be climate controlled for those hot summer days.
Honestly, kudos to Norden for bringing this idea to life. It’s a new way to attract people to an area of the state that is already attractive, growing, and bringing in the younger demographic that is so valuable to the longevity of towns and the state at large.
But a secondary kudos belongs to West Hartford. I don’t know what this town looked like 10 years ago, but I can’t imagine it was anything like it looks now. It’s got a variety of restaurants, bars, and nightlife. It has a small community feel that anyone would enjoy walking around in on a beautiful spring or summer day. Now it’s adding a innovative outdoor activity, dining, and entertainment space to the mix. And it’s all within a 15 minute drive of Hartford? This, my friends, is a town that knows what it’s doing.
Take note, Connecticut. If you want to bring young people back to the state (and in doing so, secure some long-term tax revenue), West Hartford is your model. Attract businesses. Bring in things that appeal to young professionals and young families. Make that your foundation and build from there.