The Deep Ellum Food Truck Rally is coming to Deep Ellum! The urban activist in me is extremely pleased to shut down Main St. and turning a road normally for cars into a space for people.
The west side of Deep Ellum is currently shaping up to be the commercial side of the neighborhood. Elm St. currently boasts a concentration of bars (Anvil Pub, Black Swan, La Grange, Reno's, July Alley, etc.) while Commerce has proven to be a home for restaurants (Twisted Root, Freeman, Cane Rosso, Angry Dog, St. Pete's, Buzzbrews, etc.). By natural extension, then, Main St. should be where all the retail is, and for the most part it's shaping to be that way (Lula B's, Millennium, In Accord, Dallas Pinup, Mid to Mod, etc.). But how many people relate shopping with Deep Ellum?
With the exception of an occasional crowd at the Curtain Club, Main St. remains forgotten among this crest of Deep Ellum revitalization. How can this be when Main has the widest sidewalks, the shadiest trees, and cool storefronts, making it one of the most pedestrian friendly stretches of land in the City of Dallas?
The reason is that Deep Ellum isn't relevant in a city-wide discussion of important neighborhoods, and many businesses suffer from this fact. Granted, Cane Rosso is relevant in the Dallas culinary scene, and Trees and Dada are relevant in the music scene, but there are plenty of people who still won't come here because there are plenty of other options around town that are more familiar to them.
There is currently a nationwide debate pitting gourmet food trucks against brick and mortar restaurants. In putting together this event, I've personally been drawn into this debate. There are many restaurant owners that see this Rally as an immediate threat to their business. My defense of this project is fivefold: